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

Loewen, James W.

Touchstone, 2007

pp. xi-xix

Prior to the 1995 edition, and then prior to the 2007 edition, the author reviewed the American history textbooks used in U.S. high schools. He discovered that the books are allergic to trouble in the lives of American heroes. The books are sanitized, and therefore entirely boring. So the 2007 edition is dedicated to high school history teachers “who teach against their textbooks.” They at least have a shot at showing that American history is far more various—more awful, glorious, corrupt, confusing, surprising—than the textbooks let kids see. Some high school American history teachers assign their students projects in which it’s the student’s job to find out what their textbooks aren’t telling them. Turns students into critical readers and into watchful American citizens. Meanwhile, unwary teachers who repeat the sanitized history of the textbooks run the risk of being heckled by some smart seventeen-year-old who has read Loewen’s book.