Loewen, James W.: Lies my teacher told me

Loewen, James W.

Lies my teacher told me‘, Information Clearing House, 9 July 2016

Undated video interview with Loewen, who is a sociologist critical of the received view of American history. Loewen’s widely read Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong (1995) ‘critically examines twelve American history textbooks and concludes that textbook authors propagate factually false, Eurocentric, and mythologized views of history’. Loewen’s work is comparable with that of Howard Zinn and Stone and Kuznick. Author David Horowitz criticised it and Loewen responded.

Like any such work, Loewen’s potentially has wider relevance. For example, this might apply to any country, even if the historical figures are generic or stereotypes (the Digger, Soviet Man):

He [Loewen] proposes that when American history textbooks elevate American historical figures to the status of heroes, they unintentionally give students the impression that these figures are superhumans who live in the irretrievable past. In other words, the history-as-myth method teaches students that America’s greatest days have already passed. Loewen asserts that the muting of past clashes and tragedies makes history boring to students, especially groups excluded from the positive histories.

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