Sep 18 2008

What your history teacher or professor didn’t tell you

Category: education,higher education,USAharmonicminer @ 9:31 am 48 Liberal Lies About American History: (That You Probably Learned in School): Larry Schweikart: Books Here is the publisher’s weekly short review.

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.

That line, “his own biases will limit his reach”, is standard boilerplate that is true of every book ever written (including the review I just quoted), and trotted out whenever the reviewer isn’t really friendly with the thrust of a book, but can’t find something specific to criticize.

UPDATE:  I am in mind boggle.  I am about to praise yet another LATimes editorial, which happens to quote Larry Schweikart approvingly on the matter of the guilt of the Rosenbergs in spying for the Soviet Union (which is established beyond shadow of doubt, despite the nay-saying of the Left).  If you’re a regular reader, you know how rarely I approve of major media reportage and opinion, but this is spot on.

I haven’t read this new book yet, but if it’s up to the author’s usual standards, it will be excellent. I’ll let you know.

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