Feel-good history.

Essay by Braves44High School, 10th gradeA+, April 2003

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American History textbooks are filled with "feel-good" history. However, it is only applies to white students. Many people are offended by the information taught in the textbooks, and who can blame them? Textbooks change truths, and sometimes even completely make new "truths." They omit many facts and events. All-in-all, they lie to the students and teachers. In Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong, Loewen discusses not only the "myths and misinformation of American History," but also reasons why authors write the books the way they do, and what we should do about it.

Loewen wrote this book for many reasons. He, too, was once a student, sitting in history class, trying to figure out a way to get out. He and his classmates discovered a clever way to cheat the system. He wouldn't do the work until the last week he could, and he would only do the minimum.

When his sister's class found out a better and newer way to resist, he was envious. This is not what history should be about. History should be interesting, history should be a discussion, and history should be, well, not what it was. Unfortunately, it is still the same way. Loewen saw this, and realized something must be done. Loewen wrote this book to educate not only the students, but, as Howard Zinn realizes, it is for "Every teacher, every student of history, [and] every citizen," for many teachers may not know the truth as well.

The introduction to Lies My Teacher Told Me sets the tone for the book. The first sentence drills Loewen's point into your head--"HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS HATE HISTORY. Loewen goes on to explain himself. "When... [Students] list their favorite subjects, history invariably comes in last." It's boring. However, outside of...