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Lies My Teacher Told Me for Young Readers: Everything American History Textbooks Get Wrong
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Lies My Teacher Told Me for Young Readers: Everything American History Textbooks Get Wrong

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4.21  ·  Rating details ·  299 ratings  ·  82 reviews
Now adapted for young readers in grades 7 and up, the national bestseller that makes real American history come alive in all of its conflict, drama, and complexity

Lies My Teacher Told Me is one of the most important—and successful—history books of our time. Having sold nearly two million copies, the book won an American Book Award and the Oliver Cromwell Cox Award for Dist

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Kindle Edition
Published April 2nd 2019 by The New Press
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Ivonne Rovira
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read the original Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong when it came out years and years ago — one of the best books I’ve ever read. I bought at least two (but probably more) as gifts. Needless to say, I was gratified to see that book adapted for middle- and high-schoolers to read and enjoy.

Christopher Columbus has been exposed for his cruelty to the Native Peoples he encountered. (The Spanish wiped out every Indian in my parents’ native Cuba by the middl
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Katie
Finally! Lies My Teacher Told Me has now been adapted for middle school to high school age students. This would make a great supplement for students to learn to critically read their history and other textbooks. I have read the original and this is a good abridgement. Some adults may prefer to read this version as well.
Thanks to NetGalley, The New Press, and the author James W. Loewen for an advanced digital review copy. This book will be published April 23, 2019.
Erin
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In "Lies My Teacher Told Me: Young Readers’ Edition", Author James W. Loewen slightly revises his best-selling book for a version dedicated to teen readers. He tackles the subject of school history textbook and the facts they get wrong - or just skip over all together. As someone who loves history, but always hated the textbook versions (so boring!), this was a real eye-opener.
How can we ever hope to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past if we don't learn from them. While sometimes depressin
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Never Without a Book
Wow! When you think you know everything but end up knowing nothing. Lies My Teacher Told Me: Young Readers’ Edition shook me. As an adult it's clear that growing up I was lied too. I know this is the young readers edition, but my goodness, so many adults can benefit from this book. I am definitely passing this on to my daughter as her summer reading. ...more
Beth Anne
Jun 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
This was my final COVID library book, originally checked out in March and finally picked up in June. I flew through this book in just a few days, the young readers version (which I believe just has less about writing and publishing of textbooks than the original).

For the record, I do find the title a bit off-putting. However, this book is extremely constructive, and I believe the ultimate goal is to challenge us to teach truthfully, as life-long learners, rather than just teach what we were taug
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Shabbeer Hassan
Why is it that history books don't inculcate the habit of idea generation, questioning past motives more often than rote learning of watered-down facts?

As I finished this rather excellent book, this is the only question which echoed in my mind. Why do we need books like this one to tell us what shoddy history we have been learning since childhood? Why do teachers in schools think that we should just gulp down inaccurate historical incidents without ever questioning its provenance, motivations et
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Stephanie
May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: politics, history
These days, I find myself wavering between obsessively watching/listening to the news (I HAVE to know! What’s going on?) and wallowing in despair, avoiding news. Either way, I truly fear the direction we are headed in, in large part due to the lack of critical thinking and understanding of current events I see everywhere.

Back in 1995, James Loewen’s Lies My Teacher Told Me was published. It started as a survey of the dozen leading history textbooks, and over the years has been revised and update
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Joan
This was superb! Solid history as NOT taught in secondary schools. The theme of this book is that publishers insist on writing bland non controversial garbage that only has a passing relationship with actual facts in order to have sales. They are going to make sure nothing offends those who might influence the purchase of a textbook so emotion is exacto-knifed out and students are not taught that there could be several reasons why an event happened. They are not taught how to check out informati ...more
Jessica Caskey
Aug 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This should be required reading for any teacher of SS. I am going into the school year with a fresh perspective about how I will teach American history. I will be mindful of the texts I read for American exceptionalism archetypes and present all of my essential questions as discoveries and not “here’s the answer, kids”. I will probably even share excerpts of this with them.
Lauren Reed
Apr 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
With a catchy, but misleading title, LIES MY TEACHER TOLD ME, certainly grabs your attention. Having read through the original by James W. Loewen, I was prepared for what to expect from this YA version, adapted by Rebecca Stefoff, (appropriate for age 12+). Instead of attacking teachers, as the title may suggest, Loewen points out the grave misinformation or complete omission of significant events and entire communities of people in our students’ text books, and sees these as powerful, missed te ...more
Stephanie
May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
These days, I find myself wavering between obsessively watching/listening to the news (I HAVE to know! What’s going on?) and wallowing in despair, avoiding news. Either way, I truly fear the direction we are headed in, in large part due to the lack of critical thinking and understanding of current events I see everywhere.

Back in 1995, James Loewen’s Lies My Teacher Told Me was published. It started as a survey of the dozen leading history textbooks, and over the years has been revised and update
...more
Morgan Wagner
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
THIS should be required reading for all students. There are so many things to take away from this book.
History is taught all wrong. Agreeing with the author; students are bored with it, that we learn enough to pass a test but dont really do any critical thinking.
Textbooks present everything as fact when in reality theres alot to question, to research, and wonder about. We as students are not usually encouraged to do those things in history class. Can you recall a time that didnt revolve around
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Deanna Detchemendy
Not a quick read but an important one. Every chapter contains a world of food for thought and action. The habit of lionizing historical figures gets a particular spotlight; so many ills follow from it including a misread of what it takes to be a leader. The book prompted great conversation in the family, and thankfully our kids' input was often to say that their history teacher had made these same points, regularly sending them to source documents and making them think hard through a different l ...more
Melissa
Sep 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So good and informative. I had tried reading the adult version but non fiction is not my forte so this was perfect. Enough facts to keep me interested and condensed enough not to bog me down. My son is in AP US history right now and I have highly recommended that he read it. This should be the textbook used in schools. I wonder if the huge disconnect between people and patriotism is due to being appalled at the country not being like how we've been taught it is and when people find out it makes ...more
Bakertyl
I read the original ( I guess the Old Reader's Edition??) years ago, and as a Social Studies major I loved it.  I read this version, and still love it.

Having a way to effectively communicate history to children will help those children understand the world they'll inherit sooner than they wish to.

One of the things I loved about the first book was how approachable the content was.  Anyone who could read would understand the points of history that led us to now.  I didn't consider how to address t
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January Gray
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Informative. Fun to read. I enjoyed it. So many things in school are incorrect or taught wrong. I'm glad I read it. ...more
Cheryl Louise
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm so excited that this book exists. I've been a fan of the original, and am glad to see one specifically for the middle and high school set. An excellent choice for homeschooling. ...more
Michelle
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, netgalley-books
My 11 year old read this book as part of his history homeschool curriculum. He was fascinated by it and often read parts out loud to me because he wanted to make sure I learned everything he was learning. He loved it so much he is recommending it to his best friend so he can question his teachers at school more than he already does. He especially loved the title and hopes history books include more of the facts he learned.
Holly
Jun 12, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
One would think the author of a critique of American history textbooks would take great pains to avoid the pervasive pitfall of those textbooks: boring writing style. Nope. Dry as a bone.
Stephanie Borders
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
I've always been interested in the original version of Lies My Teacher Told Me, but I hadn't gotten a chance to read it yet. When I saw this title available on Netgalley, I couldn't request it fast enough. I started it as soon as I was able, putting all my other ebooks aside.

Unfortunately, this book was not a good fit for me. I cant say whether I would have disliked the original book as much--was this the fault of the adapter? I can't be sure. What I will say is I would have rather read a histo
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Kristina
On white supremacy in America:
pp. 106-8
Racism in the Western world stems mainly from two activities that unfolded through history and were related to each other. One is the taking of land by Europeans from the peoples who lived on it, and the destruction of those peoples. The other is enslaving Africans to work that land. Slavery and racism reinforced each other. (...) The social and economic system of slavery died with the Civil War in the middle of the nineteenth century. The idea system of r
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Kevin
Before I read this book, I was oblivious to the extent school textbooks had been lying to me. I was homeschooled, and received my curriculum from a prestigious academy, so I got a better education than most people. But this prestigious academy was still feeding me some false information.

And it’s not just about what the textbooks say; it’s also what they omit. Helen Keller’s activist adult life, for instance, and we instead focus on her triumphs in childhood. The book talks about how a statue of
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Jessica
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC! I was excited to access and read this book because I had the adult, first version on my wish list for a while. As I teach teens, I was ready to dive into this YA version because I wanted to see if it would be something I could recommend to my students. I did enjoy it, and it was very eye-opening for me. There were stories that were mentioned in here where I thought-Yup. I remember learning that and having my textbook lead me to believe that, and it was wrong!
I ha
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Bookwyrmguy
I hadn’t heard of this book before, and when I found it on a library shelf, I was excited to start turning the pages. I experienced the history education that he rails against in this book, and feel like I’ve always known that our textbooks are full of propaganda. I couldn’t wait to see what the author could tell me about what I might not have known.

The areas where he does actually address the topic hinted at in the title of the book WERE very interesting. I learned a few new things, and saw so
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Laura Gardner
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So so so many thoughts after reading this MUST-BUY nonfiction book by #JamesWLoewen. I love when awesome adult NF gets adapted for young people! I loved the original back in college; this version is accessible, relevant and IMPORTANT. Some thoughts below...
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Racism is a product of our past and continues to affect the present, but racism is rarely discussed in textbooks. .
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After analyzing history textbooks for the last 30 years, Loewen has concluded that the textbook readers are given a san
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Dan
Dec 08, 2019 rated it did not like it
I'm rarely surprised by poor writing. Book publishing is a business first and foremost. There's little integrity left in the business world and one should not expect big business publishing to be any different. Whatever sells is good, if it doesn't sell it isn't good. But The New Press, publisher of this book, is decidedly not big business publishing. So, I was very surprised to read such poorly presented material in the book.
There are probably very few pieces of misinformation in the book. Th
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Karlie Schaefer
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Disclaimer: I received a free ARC of this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed this book.  I had always wanted to read the original but it always seemed too daunting a task, considering my lifelong dislike of history.

To be fair, I realized through this book that I retained more of the US history I learned in public school than I would have thought.  Unfortunately, this book taught me that most of what I had retained was wrong, or at least majorly lacking in context.

I'
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Christine Airey
I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book so I could give an honest review.

Everyone has most likely heard the quote, "History is written by the victors." Although the quote is often attributed to Winston Churchill, it is not known who originally said it. However, the author does not matter, only the truth of the quote.

Lies My Teacher Told Me: Young Readers’ Edition Everything American History Textbooks Get Wrong by James W. Loewen is part of his campaign to correct mistakes that have
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David Gee
Oct 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great audiobook, worth listening to for every young person, ideally along with or in parallel with their parents' doing so also, then having a discussion on the topics. It teaches that history is much more interesting and nuanced than typically presented in school and that lessons from history can be quite relevant to becoming good citizens in a democratic and equitable society. It sheds a darker light on many famous characters and events from the past which can be painful. However the intent is ...more
Diane Ferbrache
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
Loewen has updated and slightly simplified his original work for young readers. Much of the same content is here as in his original book, but he has added content about the fall of the Soviet Union and 9/11. The text is easy to read and understand, but has a definite slant that some might find offensive.

In Loewen's effort to analyze history textbooks for errors and/or bias, he has clarified many misconceptions, but he sometimes takes an accusatory tone. He claims that by sanitizing history for
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