Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong

Front Cover
New Press, 2008 - History - 444 pages
881 Reviews
Winner of the 1996 American Book Award and the Oliver Cromwell Cox Award for Distinguished Anti-Racist Scholarship
Americans have lost touch with their history, and in this thought-provoking book, Professor James Loewen shows why. After surveying twelve leading high school American history texts, he has concluded that "not one" does a decent job of making history interesting or memorable. Marred by an embarrassing combination of blind patriotism, mindless optimism, sheer misinformation, and outright lies, these books omit almost all the ambiguity, passion, conflict, and drama from our past. In ten powerful chapters, Loewen reveals that:

The United States dropped three times as many tons of explosives in Vietman as it dropped in all theaters of World War II, including Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Ponce de Leon went to Florida mainly to capture Native Americans as slaves for Hispaniola, not to find the mythical fountain of youth
Woodrow Wilson, known as a progressive leader, was in fact a white supremacist who personally vetoed a clause on racial equality in the Covenant of the League of Nations
The first colony to legalize slavery was not Virginia but Massachusetts

From the truth about Columbus's historic voyages to an honest evaluation of our national leaders, Loewen revives our history, restoring to it the vitality and relevance it truly possesses.

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Powerful and well-researched. - Goodreads
Certainly not a page turner, but interesting enough. - Goodreads
Excellent Insight, Powerful & Fascinating! - Goodreads
The author seems very arrogant throughout his writing. - Goodreads
Very interesting and seemingly well researched. - Goodreads
Good advice, I think. - Goodreads

Review: Lies My Teacher Told Me

User Review  - Jennifer Davis - Goodreads

I already knew most of the lies and omissions that were revealed in this book. I would, however, recommend this book as a graduation gift to high-school students. I enjoyed learning more about how textbooks are adopted and why certain information is included or omitted. Read full review

Review: Lies My Teacher Told Me

User Review  - Mark - Goodreads

I lie to my students way more than this James. Just kidding. I think this is pretty dated at this point though a worthwhile look. Read full review

About the author (2008)

James W. Loewen is the bestselling author of Lies Across America and Sundown Towns (The New Press), among many other books and articles. He is professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Vermont and lives in Washington, D.C.

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