We are the People: Voices from the Other Side of American History

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Thunder's Mouth Press, 2003 - History - 432 pages
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We Are the People collects the personal accounts, letters, speeches and other documents that, together, tell the untold story of American history—two centuries of struggle from the perspective of the people. Featuring first-person accounts by numerous forgotten Americans who provide alternative perspectives on critical moments in our history, this book transports us to many of our country’s most moving and least celebrated moments, from heart-wrenching slave narratives to pivotal labor speeches, from piercing manifestos by women’s-rights proponents to American Indians’ accounts of the shame of their culture’s destruction. We Are the People also explores issues such as poverty, corporate power, immigration, and civil liberties. It includes selections ranging from a Quaker’s account of life as a conscientious objector during the Civil War to an interview with a woman who helped organize the Montgomery bus boycott; from a native American’s description of a cavalry charge on a Cheyenne encampment to exploited coal miners' tales of woe; from a contemporary mother's account of stealing groceries to feed her children to manifestoes by today's anti-corporate guerillas. A gripping, accessible read, We Are the People reveals an American experience that is pushed aside, forgotten or ignored all too often by our mainstream mythology.

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We Are the People: Voices from the Other Side of American History

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As Loewen (Lies My Teacher Told Me) writes in his introduction, textbooks rarely"allow the past to speak," nor do they allow"regular folks" to have their say. This volume is an attempt to fill both ... Read full review

About the author (2003)

Willis has edited more than 30 anthologies on subjects ranging from mountaineering to mediation.

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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