"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...