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Lies My Teacher Told Me is one of the most important—and successful—history books of our time. Having sold nearly two million copies, the book won an American Book Award and the Oliver Cromwell Cox Award for Distinguished Anti-Racist Scholarship. Now Rebecca Stefoff, the acclaimed nonfiction children’s writer who adapted Howard Zinn’s bestseller A People’s History of the United States for young readers, makes Loewen’s beloved work available to younger students.
Essential reading in our age of fake news and slippery, sloppy history, Lies My Teacher Told Me: Young Readers’ Edition cuts through the mindless optimism and outright lies found in most textbooks that are often not even really written by their “authors.” Loewen is, as historian Carol Kammen has said, the history teacher we all should have had. Beginning with pre-Columbian history and then covering characters and events as diverse as the first Thanksgiving, Helen Keller, the My Lai massacre, 9/11, and the Iraq War, Loewen’s lively, provocative telling of American history is a “counter-textbook that retells the story of the American past” (The Nation).
This streamlined young readers’ edition is rich in vivid details and quotations from primary sources that poke holes in the textbook versions of history and help students develop a deeper understanding of our world. Lies My Teacher Told Me: Young Readers’ Edition brings this classic text to a new generation of readers (and their parents and teachers) who will welcome and value its honesty, its humor, and its integrity.
Gr 7 Up-The original 1995 edition of Lies My Teacher Told Me shocked many readers with its blunt analysis of 12 high school history textbooks. This young reader’s edition continues along the same lines, pointing out the fallacies involved when telling adolescents an idealized, incomplete version of U.S. history. Loewen focuses on the following themes: heroification (telling only the positive, exemplary parts about significant figures in American history), the realities of both the Columbus and First Thanksgiving stories, Native/First Nations experiences being ignored or told only from a European perspective, racism, idealism, classism, government ‘perfection,’ and the dangers of teaching history without considering its impact on the future. The book covers much of the same material as in the previous editions except with shortened, simpler text. Relevant facts and figures have been updated, as well as references to the current president and administration. VERDICT An important and necessary purchase for all secondary schools who want students to develop a love and appreciation for U.S. history while seeing it with clearer eyes.-Heidi Grange, Summit Elementary School, Smithfield, UTα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.