A historian debunks four-dozen PC myths about our nation's past.
Over the last forty years, history textbooks have become more and more politically correct and distorted about our country's past, argues professor Larry Schweikart. The result, he says, is that students graduate from high school and even college with twisted beliefs about economics, foreign policy, war, religion, race relations, and many other subjects.
As he did in his popular A Patriot's History of the United States, Professor Schweikart corrects liberal bias by rediscovering facts that were once widely known. He challenges distorted books by name and debunks forty-eight common myths. A sample:
*The founders wanted to create a "wall of separation" between church and state
* Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation only because he needed black soldiers
* Truman ordered the bombing of Hiroshima to intimidate the Soviets with "atomic diplomacy"
* Mikhail Gorbachev, not Ronald Reagan, was responsible for ending the Cold War
America's past, though not perfect, is far more admirable than you were probably taught.
Textbooks have long served as a main battlefield in the culture wars and the latest salvo comes from Schweikart, a history professor at the University of Dayton (A Patriot's History of the United States), who examines leading American history texts and other books that he sees as purveying a distinctly slanted view of American history—one that portrays the United States as oppressive, imperialistic, and evil. Each lie is deliberated in a brief essay. A chapter on the notion that FDR knew in advance that the Japanese would attack Pearl Harbor focuses largely on countering Robert Stinnett's Day of Deceit. The belief that Columbus was responsible for killing millions of Indians (drivel) is, he says, based on faulty statistics. In examining the belief that Richard Nixon sent burglars into the Watergate office complex, the author accepts G. Gordon Liddy's account of events over John Dean's. Regarding the Rosenbergs, Schweikart cites Soviet documents proving they were indeed spies. Schweikart marshals an arsenal of statistics and scholarly studies, and while his own biases will limit his reach, he offers an object lesson in the need for scrupulous balance in the writing of history textbooks. (Sept. 4) Copyright � Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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September 03, 2008
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