Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   It is said that history is written by the victor. Whileit remains uncertain that the United States can be called a winner, this nationcertainly has written a unique history across the parched pages of time. Childrenstudy and learn this history in schools, but when I read Lies My Teacher Told Meby James W. Loewen, I found that what schools across the nation call"history" may actually be a series of lies and half-truths intended tominimize the negative events and attitudes that have shaped our culture as muchas the positive ones.

Lies My Teacher Told Me tackles the most grievousfallacies of history. As a citizen of the Unites States, I feel I have beensympathetic to the gruesome predicament of the now-conquered Native Americans,but was surprised to learn the true depth and depravity of the assault on theirancient cultures. Though I was always aware of the atrocities against NativeAmericans, reading Lies My Teacher Told Me and doing rudimentary researchunraveled my beliefs, replacing them with the grim truths of our history.

In many examples of history textbooks presented by Lies My Teacher ToldMe, seeming outright lies are substituted for fact. The story of the firstThanksgiving is both tired and trite, and the truth is that the legend ofpilgrims and Indians feasting together in harmony was invented during the CivilWar to inspire patriotism. The truth has been stifled because the publiceducation system prefers blind patriotism to callous logic.

I foundhistory a more compelling subject after reading Lies My Teacher Told Me. I nowunderstand that all observations are subjective, and that all historians willfail in their quest for perfect accuracy. Lies My Teacher Told Me made me wary oftextbooks, and made me wiser. Now I ask, if the victor writes history, what sortof winners are we?



This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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