A new edition of the national bestseller and American Book Award winner, with a new preface by the author
Since its first publication in 1995, Lies My Teacher Told Me has become one of the most important—and successful—history books of our time. Having sold nearly two million copies, the book also won an American Book Award and the Oliver Cromwell Cox Award for Distinguished Anti-Racist Scholarship and was heralded on the front page of the New York Times.
For this new edition, Loewen has added a new preface that shows how inadequate history courses in high school help produce adult Americans who think Donald Trump can solve their problems, and calls out academic historians for abandoning the concept of truth in a misguided effort to be “objective.”
What started out as a survey of the twelve leading American history textbooks has ended up being what the San Francisco Chronicle calls “an extremely convincing plea for truth in education.” In Lies My Teacher Told Me, James W. Loewen brings history alive in all its complexity and ambiguity. Beginning with pre-Columbian history and ranging over characters and events as diverse as Reconstruction, Helen Keller, the first Thanksgiving, the My Lai massacre, 9/11, and the Iraq War, Loewen offers an eye-opening critique of existing textbooks, and a wonderful retelling of American history as it should—and could—be taught to American students.
This ground-breaking and controversial book is the first to provide a child-centered perspective on the subject by combining a wealth of social science information with sophisticated normative analysis to support novel reforms—to child protection law and practice, family law, and zoning— that would quickly end that cycle.
The rub is that the reforms needed would entail further suffering and loss of liberty for adults in these communities, and liberal advocacy organizations and academics are so adult-centered in their sympathies and thinking that they reflexively oppose any such measures. Liberals have instead promoted one ineffectual parent-focused program after another, in an ideologically-driven quest for the magic pill that can save both adults and children in these communities at the same time.
This `insider critique’ of liberal child welfare policy reveals a dilemma that liberals have yet to face squarely: there is an ineradicable conflict of interests between many young children and their parents, especially in areas of concentrated poverty, and one must choose sides.
It is a must read for legal academics, political scientists, urban policy experts, as well as professionals working in social work, law, education, urban planning, legislative offices, and administrative agencies.