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SA: gtheaddesk

The missing letters are WTF?

Posted on 2009.27.08 at 20:50

Comments:


try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2009-08-28 23:43 (UTC) ()
3. Eep. I never associated the two terms at all. *facepalm* I was thinking "teabaggers" was like "backpackers" or "John Birchers"--just a name, was all. How silly of me to not associate sexual slang with politics. ;)

High school US History books are written by committees, no matter what the author name is on the title (There are history books with a famous historian's name on it even when the author only wrote some long-ago edition and has been DEAD for years.) There is very little primary- or secondary-source material. New editions reference the last edition, which references the edition before that, and so on, so even if new stuff comes up it's not always put into the book. The books are usually a bland list of names and dates and events that emphasize a generalized 'feel-good' attitude (so as not to alienate the kiddies). For instance, they'll contain lot about how influential Woodrow Wilson was in the formation of the League of Nations and almost nothing about the fact that he was quite the racist and tried to implement racist policies. The same goes for the (small) bits about Helen Keller--a lot about her childhood and how she became a spokesperson for the blind, but practically nada about the fact that she was a very ardent (and also very idealistic and naïve) Socialist. There tend to be whole chapters about the Pilgrims and the probably fictional First Thanksgiving but usually not more than a couple of pages about the Vietnam War. Not to mention that all the Great Things written about are generally ones done by white men;consequently the history of women and people of colour tend to be left out of it.

And the courses are often taught directly from the books--sure there are innovative teachers, but mostly, nobody wants rock the boat, not the teachers, and not the textbook approval committees.

My info comes from a heck of a lot of reading, but recently mostly from a wonderful book called Lies My Teacher Told Me. I highly recommend this book to everyone. It's not politically driven, and it's very, very well-researched The author researched a bunch of high school American history books published over many years and compared them to each other and to their primary sources. The introduction is here. I think I need to make a rant post about history, though, because I'm gonna run out of room here.

5. That would have been Air America, but I don't remember her show. Air America kind of got to me, because even though I agreed with the message, the method was too much like everything I hate about right-wing radio.

Edited at 2009-08-28 23:44 (UTC)
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