Censoring History: Citizenship and Memory in Japan, Germany, and the United States

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Considering the great influence textbooks have as interpreters of history, politics and culture to future generations of citizens, it is no surprise that they generate considerable controversy. Focusing largely on textbook treatment of lingering - and sometimes explosive - tensions originating in World War II, "Censoring History" addresses issues of textbook nationalism in historical and comparative perspective. Discussions include Japan's Comfort Women and the Nanjing Massacre; Nazi genocide against the Jews, Gypsies, Catholics and others; Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the Indochina wars. The essays address controversies over textbook content around the globe: How and why do specific representations of war evolve? What are the international and national forces affecting how textbook writers, publishers and state censors depict the past? How do these forces differ from country to country? Other comparative essays analyze nationalist and war controversies in German, US and Chinese textbook debates.
 

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Contents

The Lessons of War Global Power and Social Change
15
The Japanese Movement to Correct History
53
The New Neonationalistic
73
Japanese Education Nationalism and Ienaga Saburos
96
Identity and Transnationalization in German School Textbooks
125
The Vietnam War in High School American History
149
viii
173
vii
195
The JapanSouth
203
Buchenwald Concentration Camp
226
American
258
Contributors
289
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

Social scientist and professor James Loewen is an outspoken critic of "feel-good" history. In his book "Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American Textbook Got Wrong" (1996) he debunks the myths and exposes the omissions he feels are taught in the nation's high schools. Disturbed by his college students' lack of knowledge of history and concerned about minority misconceptions, Loewen spent two years at the Smithsonian analyzing 12 leading history texts and 11 years writing this best-selling indictment of history teaching. Loewen believes that controversy has been removed from classrooms in favor of blind patriotism. "Any history book that celebrates, rather than examines, our heritage has the by-product, intended or not, of alienating all those in the 'out group', those who have not become affluent, and denies them a tool for understanding their own group's lack of success." Loewen's other books include ""Mississippi: Conflict and Change" (1974, rev. 1980), a revisionist history of the state written with a coalition of students and faculty at Tougaloo College, Mississippi; "Mississippi Chinese: Between Black and White" (1971), a study of this minority's role in society; "Social Science in the Courtroom" (1983), based on the author's experiences as an expert witness in civil rights cases and "The Truth About Columbus: A Subversively True Poster Book For A Dubiously Celebratory Occasion" (1992). In addition, the author is a frequent contributor to professional publications, sometimes under the pseudonym James Lyons. James W. Loewen was born February 6, 1942 in Decatur, Illinois and was educated at Carleton College (B.A., 1964) and Harvard University (M.A, 1967; Ph.D., 1968). He was a sociologist and teacher specializing in race relations at Tougaloo College, Mississippi from 1968 to 1974.

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