Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by downtown, Jul 31, 2007.
Jeeves and Wooster is also made in to a TV series, and it is very good. With Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie as the main characters.
Personally I think the TV series is as good as the books, but I have only read one of them...
The Kite Runner is short? I really need to learn to read more in a more efficient way.
Lies My Teacher Told Me By James Loewen, and yes, I have taken my time.
...maybe because I only read for 30 minutes before I sleep...
You're taking US History?
If you mean talking, then yes, its about the glossing over, leaving out, or just outright lying in American History books. I was hoping he'd make one for world history, but that seems improbable.
If you do mean taking, then no, although as all Americans that went through school here, yes I did.
Very enjoyable book, I feel.
I did mean taking.
It just came to mind because on this list of Summer Assignments that I got, the Juniors taking US History (well, Honors and Regulars) have to read that same book.
Then sorry there mate! My fault for trying to fix what needed no fixing.
I'm glad they're pushing this book, they should probably just cut out the middle man though and rewrite history books that don't lie, seems practical to me.
I never read the book myself.
What is it about? (I know it says Lies my teacher told me, but which lies?)
Let me see... to not give away to much info, unless you really want it, it deals with how heroification can lead to omitting important things about our 'heroes', more in depth analysis of Columbus i.e. his 'discovery' of America and the slave trade, forgetting about the major influence Indians and slavery would have on the U.S., the power and separation of the classes, how recent past is treated, and other things, as well as why this is taught and how if affects not just what we learn but how what we learn spreads out to influence current events. One example is how racism derived from slavery, and how the affects of slavery and its aftermath still challenge people today.
I'm not going to be reading it, so go ahead with the details.
Herofication: Helen Keller's later life is relatively unknown, all we really know is she overcame being deaf and blind, but as an adult she toured America, and discovered that many people didn't have the ability to succeed as well as others, like a factory-worker won't become rich, so she became a socialist and advocated its cause.
Woodrow Wilson was a white supremacist who got rid of black office holders and didn't help at all with any civil rights movements. He also denied to talk to Ho Chi Min about Vietnamese independence, setting up the Vietnam War. During his regime and WWI, the country got as close to a police state as it ever has, you couldn't talk bad about the british or good about the germans.
Columbus, of course, didn't discover America, as people already lived there, and its possible that, besides him, the natives, and Vikings, that others reached there as well. He set the slave trade up almost immediately and succeeded in wiping out the natives on Haiti, either by killing them or selling them to slavery
Native American settlements held the basis for European colonies- if they weren't susceptible to European and African (the slave trade in the modern U.S. began soon after Jamestown was set up) diseases, then taking the already cleared and ready to farm land would have been much harder, and building new settlements from scratch, with attacks from natives, near impossible. Native societies were admired by those who stayed with them, and when whites were made to leave, most didn't want to.
Slavery in the Americas started with natives then blacks, and as this continued, natives were seen as inferior because of how they were dying so easily (a sign from god) and both were seen to be fit for slaves because they were to stupid to be able to live independently, and in fact liked slavery- even though they oft tried escaping. Manifest Destiny and the Civil War were waged on slavery, Manifest Destiny- so that there was more slave land, and as more land was taken, there would be less room for slaves to run to (they often ran to native civs because, as said before, life there was admirable. The Civil war was waged so that southerners could keep slaves, who formed the back bone of their farms. Later on, during Reconstruction, blacks did well at holding different offices, though not very high ones, but they and all blacks that did well were attacked by whites, who envied and hated them, and so we see that it was not black incompetence but white racism that caused them to fail. After this came what Loewen calls the nadir, the time after reconstruction up to WWII. Here racism reigned supreme, and blackface became one of, and at times the, dominant form of show. Blacks were lynched across the country, and the myth that they were incapable of being successful prevailed. They moved together, forming 'ghettos' in large cities, and as they came from scrap and had little to build on, and still suffered from white attacks, did not do very well, which can still explain the situation in parts of todays cities.
John Brown wasn't insane.
Abraham Lincoln was racist, but felt that the U.S. stood for freedom and equality, and felt that, despite himself, blacks should have equal rights as whites, although he still didnt feel the should be socially equal.
Lower and working class children will not grow up to be president or the like, as quality education and the benefits it brings are not available to them, and since history books stress rich white people doing well, and that the harder you work the better you'll be off, the poor and minorities feel they deserve to be where they are and wont try to do better.
Vietnam, as example, shows how the recent past is mistreated. Although its teachers know it well, as they lived through it, history students havent and thus rely on the book, which teaches Vietnam as it does older events, and teachers tend to not disagree with what they may know to be false as they fear not being able to answer all questions or start controversy. My Lai for example, and the many images brought out of Vietnam, like the shooting of an alleged Viet-cong sympathizing teen or the young girl running naked from her napalmed village, are left out, even though they show Vietnam for what it was and can help kids understand why there was such a large anti-war crowd.
History is a story of progress- things are always getting better- this is what the books teach. Jackie Robinson was the first black baseball player- when in fact there were some during the late 1800's, but were later banned. 'Developing' nations arent developing, but in fact getting poorer, as the rich countries get richer and exploit this. America may be the leader in economy but is the bane of waste- one american produces the same amount of trash as 10-15 average world citizens, and out production keeps fueling this, so it is in fact our best interest to see that countries don't reach that standard of living, or the earth will be quickly sucked dry.
Several attempts on Castro's life by JFK may have motivated him to kill JFK.
The U.S. has overthrown governments in Nicaragua, Chile, Guatemala, Lebanon and the Central African Republic, even though they were democratically elected, because they were 'too leftist and dangered [corporate] interests', and in some cases these acts still affect us and them today.
The result is a society that is educated in what it thinks is the truth and instead of moving it forward, keeps it in this state of mind and doesn't allow for useful interpretation of history and applying it to today, to understand why whats happening is and where it may lead us.
I could probably go deeper, and I'm sure I've left much out, but thats what I can give you for now.
I can't really trust a source that doesn't grasp that the word discover does not ever imply that one is the first human being ever to find something. I don't really think anyone doesn't realize there were people here before Columbus.
Before the floodgates open, I would like to request that posters do not attempt to pick at West 36's history post. This thread is about book recomendations, not historical debate.
I would have to agree, I was just outlining what the book I suggested said, I didn't want this too off-topic.
Well if you find the ESPN show about the Yankees interesting then I highly recommend you read The Bronx Zoo by Sparky Lyle to get the real dirt.
A few books I've found to be good quick reads include:
Who Stole my Cheese--dealing with change and life, really.
Megatrends 2000-- I didn't read Megatrends 2010 since Naisbitt didn't work on the book but this one tells you a lot about the life we lead today and why.
Bringing Down the House--the story of the MIT kids who took Vegas for millions.
Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds--everyone should be required to read this. Timeless even 160+ years after it was written.
Actually, just go straight to the source of the show and read The Bronx is Burning also.
Fair enough. And after all, if one is not willing to look at history from as many perspectives as possible, one will never get the whole picture. I doubt very much that any history book ever written adequately explains what happened.
I already knew of some of the stuff you posted, like this:
Though the book sounds interesting to read. The title is certainly odd.
Arc of Justice.
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks. It is funny and scary at the same time. For further reading; Zombie Survival Guide from the same author.
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