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If history has taught us anything... - Dont get swallowed by...THE BLOG!
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If history has taught us anything...

I'm reading this book, Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen that explains all some the bad stuff the U.S. has done that high school textbooks leave out. I'm currently on the chapter that talks about the Federal Government. It mentions how we toppled more than a few fairly elected governments and disrupted societies in our own interest via the CIA, FBI, and mostly the stuff we do comes straight from executive orders. Here's something from page 229:

"[High school] textbooks failure to analyze or even discuss the secret and illegal acts of the executive branch is part of their apparent program to whitewash the federal government so that students will respect it. Since the structural problem in the government has not gone away, it is likely that the students will again, in their adult lives, face an out of control President pursuing criminal foreign and domestic policies." -James W. Loewen, Historian, in his book published in 1995.

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From: thegodofwar Date: November 5th, 2004 07:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah yes, Mr. Loewen. I've got a more moderate view of buddy then others, I feel.

His book is good on purpose, and it is there I think it truly finds its calling. To raise the issue, "Hey, there is stuff that if you don't look forward it won't simply be told to you for your own good." It is pertinent that we in the information age with all this crap right at the touch of a button away from us understand that without clicking that button we're still just as far away as if we had to walk thousands of miles to get it. Likewise it is important that we question things, and search for our own answers, be free thinkers.

That being said what I feel Loewen does unfortunately in his work is give credit to conspiracy theorists. I don't believe Loewen is one, but his subject matter is already teaming with them, and his conclusions, such as those you've cited, have given far too many people the wrong conclusions, and thus his point can be both misconstrued, and wasted.

It is not that these books are written to keep students in line and teach them history. They are written for the strict PURPOSE of banality. If Jerry Springer has taught us anything, it is that you can make a shitload of money on the shock and vulgarity of life, and believe you me teaching kids that the FBI and CIA blow shit up and interfere and meddle, there is money to be made there.

But not in our schools. Keep it as hackneyed as possible and that way no one gets offended. Its like a Full House episode. You keep history cookie cuttered up for the purposes of not offending or, dare I say, CHALLENGING the nation's youth and thus drawing attention away from more important fields, such as science and math.

And kids, for their own part, they don't wanna think. They don't want to even touch the grey areas of life that aren't already displayed to them on reruns of Dawson's Creek. I like you but you like someone else but they slept with me so how do you rationalize all that?

That's about as grey as they like it. Grey as in music, grey as in TV and all other forms of media, but not history. Not literature.

I'm an aspiring historian and I didn't learn (sadly), I mean truly learn that in order to understand history in college you end up reading not only historical works but dare I say... literature?

Crazy times.
camelot_king From: camelot_king Date: November 10th, 2004 12:23 pm (UTC) (Link)

To Answer Your Question...

No, I didn't vote for Bush, you can breath now.

Also, I hate Full House now. That damn suger coating used to be sweet when I was little; those nice neat moral endings were enjoyable for all. Now they just make my teeth hurt when I'm sucking down Uncle Sam's iron love pole of lies.

Now I search for... The Talisman!!
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