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A Critical Analysis of: Lies My Teacher Told Me

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A Critical Analysis of: Lies My Teacher Told Me "It would be better not to know so many things than to know so many things which are not so." -FELIX OKOYE Out of all forms of literature currently known to man, educational textbooks are arguably the least interesting. On top of being incredibly boring, textbooks, especially American history ones, neglect to include the entirety of the information that it should. Because American history textbooks wish only to paint the United States in a bright light, the author's opt to leave out anything that may hurt its image. What Lies My Teacher Told Me attempts to do is lay out uncommonly known facts for the misinformed history students of today. While it does succeed in bringing forth some good points and fundamental flaws within the educations of the ordinary history student, it itself fails to correct one of the very reasons it claims that history books are so bad. The information within this book is accurate and would be stimulating in every way had it only been arranged in a coherent and interesting matter. ...read more.


Loewen's first chapter to actually contain content about history deals with Americans' misinformed beliefs about apparent American heroes. He focuses primarily on Helen Keller and Woodrow Wilson, both of which have little known facts about them that may impede on their statuses as heroes. While informing his readers that Keller was a radical socialist who supported the USSR and that Wilson led many motiveless invasions of Latin American countries is, in itself, interesting information to know. However, Loewen constantly jumps back and forth between the two heroes and their descriptions, causing him to not only fail at accurately portraying his message, but also send the reader into a boundless pit of confusion which only gets worse as the book progresses. Next up for this abomination of literature are two chapters about the frequently discussed myths of the first settlers of America. In the first of these two chapters, Loewen tries to bring realization to the conflict surrounding Christopher Columbus and his ill-guided intentions. This, however, is a very commonly disputed topic and needn't have this book attempt to shine its own 'glory' upon it because that 'glory' is nowhere to be found. ...read more.


Another thing that proposes a problem with his book is the fact that he deals with a lot of things that are, in fact, already known in many areas of the United States. He seemed very prejudiced against the people of the South, who he apparently considers of less intelligence than the other sections of this country. This being the case, Loewen brings up many controversial and interesting topics that are sometimes a little too widely known for what his book wanted to achieve simply because he thinks all southerners are half-baked morons who not only know less than the rest of the country. While it was still interesting information, he could have cut many things out which, in a sense, take away from his message that history neglects to teach certain things because some of these things were, in fact, taught. The rest of this book follows a similar pattern of proposing great ideas without any follow through, or if there is follow through, it is too boring and misleading to appreciate. While this book had the potential of being a great in consideration to the teachings of American history due to its ability to identify little known facts about the United States, it is too flawed to even be thought of as anything impactful. ...read more.

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