Lies My Teacher Told Me was written by James Loewen and is about all the lies our history books told us. Loewen goes through a shortened version of American History and starts to contradict everything we have learned growing up.
He starts the book of with a very controversial chapter about heroification. This process is something that our history textbooks have done to create our nation’s past leaders into seemingly perfect people who lived perfect lives. He gives the example of Helen Keller as someone who has gone through heroification.
After this initial chapter the book becomes a little less controversial, but only a little. He goes on to talk about many of the things our history books get wrong, and just leave out sometimes. Loewen gives you the truth about the First Thanksgiving and how it was the Native Americans saving the Pilgrims, not the other way around. He talks about how the textbooks have looked at history through European eyes and have a blatant disregard for Native American views.
History books always portray the white pilgrims as the civilized culture, and the Natives as the savage brutes. In fact, if looked at through Native American eyes it appears the exact opposite. Our history textbooks also fail to mention much of the racism in our nations past. Racism is still present today in society, but our history textbooks make it sound as if it were almost never present. These books also fail to mention the antiracism in our past, and its leaders. For example John Brown was a white man who helped slaves escape into the North. And Brown even led a raid with other white men against Harper’s Ferry in the fight against slavery.
Loewen then continues on with other examples of what our history books do wrong and forget to include in their text. The books do not look at the war inVietnam, or the most recent past which is probably the most relevant to us. In short, our history textbooks need some very obvious revisions.