"The Reality of What Was Not Written"

Essay by karlr January 2005

download word file, 7 pages 2.3

"Lies My Teacher Told Me" by James W. Loewen is a synopsis of historically

significant people and how certain parts of their lives were either changed or

neglected in society's modern text books. Perhaps by focusing in on these people

and the lost pieces of their lives a better understanding of American history can be

obtained, maybe even an identity could be developed for this young country. My

perception of American history was instilled in me from a young age, but when

reading Loewen it helps me to identify with historical figures because of how it

displays them in more of a human light. Not so much even their positive impacts on

modern society, rather how anyone can make mistakes. This does not make me

think any less of their accomplishments. It allows for a full and in-depth look into

the past from all the views involved not just what American historians have dubbed

suitable for the public to know.

Richard M. Nixon once said, "When information which properly belongs to

the public is systematically withheld by those in power, the people soon become

ignorant of their own affairs, distrustful of those who manage them, and -

eventually - incapable of determining their own destinies." (Loewen, 238) The

United States as a nation still lacks an identity and a destiny for that matter. For

America so develop both it needs to be able to look back at the past from all angles.

This means not just black and white. If historians would write about the gray area

people could judge events for themselves and not be told who is a hero and a villain.

For example Columbus did discover America, but it was an accident. He was

actually searching for a faster route to Asia and stumbled upon...