Book 19 of 5o in my quest to read 50 books in 52 weeks. (2013)
Lies My Teacher Told Me (by: James Loewen)
This book was referred to me by a friend for “interesting reading”. Being a history enthusiast I jumped at the chance to read a book filled with extra facts not ordinarily presented. When reading this book I was not disappointed. There are many stories Loewen uses that in all honest I had never heard before. His main person of interest HELEN KELLER is someone who I now have significantly more respect for.
However, I’m not sure I have the same for author. This book is written in a way that really shows us the overall opinion of the education in America today. To me, it was written with a cynical criticism that praises our historical characters flaws simply because they were hidden from the general public. Does main stream need to know that while Helen Keller was an amazing woman she also made a mistake in thinking that communism was the right course of action? I don’t think so. She made a mistake in judgement. We now see that she was profoundly wrong. Loewen praises her for being different and vilifies history textbooks for not showing her true feelings.
There’s a simple answer for this… it wasn’t relevant to her story.
People need heroes. How would they feel if they discovered that no one is perfect. Even our heroes.
The book continues to act like a tabloid for history exposing all of our heroes and revealing their ‘dirty little secrets’. So may ending take was while the information was new, it wasn’t presented in the best way possible. Maybe it would’ve been different if Loewen would’ve presented it as something to think about and less like someone revealing the man behind the curtain to show us Oz is only a man.
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars.