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Lies My Teacher Told Me About Christopher Columbus (A Subversively True Poster Book for a Dubiously Celebratory Occasion) Paperback – June 19, 1992

14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A perfect antidote for the nonsense about Columbus conveyed to our children for generations."
—Howard Zinn, author of A People's History of the United States

"Absolutely indispensable for at least the next hundred years. This book is a real Discovery and a real Exploration."
—Ariel Dorfman, Walter Hines Page Chair of Literature and Latin American Studies, Duke University

"Every teacher in America could benefit by reading this fine work."
—Bill Bigelow, Co-Editor, Rethinking Columbus

About the Author

James W. Loewen is the bestselling author of Lies My Teacher Told Me, Lies Across America, and Sundown Towns, all available from The New Press, among many other books and articles. He is a regular contributor to the History Channel's History magazine. Loewen is a professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Vermont and lives in Washington, D.C.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: The New Press; 1st edition (June 19, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565840089
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565840089
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.5 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,812,636 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

James W. Loewen is the bestselling author of Lies My Teacher Told Me and Lies Across America. He is a regular contributor to the History Channel's History magazine and is a professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Vermont. He resides in Washington, D.C.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#19 in Books > History
#19 in Books > History

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Carl Granados on August 30, 2001
Format: Paperback
Everything by the author is well researched, thought provoking, and tells us things we don't want to hear but need to.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Keith Thompson on August 13, 2014
Format: Paperback
What exactly is "history"? Most people would answer, "It's what happened in the past." Some might be more specific and say, "It's the study of what happened in the past." But only a fraction would accurately describe it as "the historian's interpretation of what happened in the past." This is the central question of both James Loewen's best-selling "Lies My Teacher Told Me", and his new book focusing on Columbus.

Up until approximately 50 years ago, history was all about great men and great events. But in their zeal to present iconic figures like Washington and Jefferson as persons to emulate, historians often went too far, portraying them as infallible demi-gods, and great events such as Columbus' discovery of America were always told in the most heroic fashion. But then in the 1960s, reflecting the attitude of the times, the pendulum began to swing back. Suddenly the great figures in American history had all become ambitious opportunists with self-serving ulterior motives. Historians began writing more and more about the long-neglected area of social history, focusing on women and minorities and the downtrodden. James Loewen is clearly a product of this new era of historical thought. As such, he never misses a chance to interpret Columbus' actions in the worst possible light, or ascribe to him the basest of motives.

I am a revisionist historian myself, and I recently wrote a novel about the American Revolution from the point of view of one of the great scoundrels in American history, in which I take a less-than-heroic look at the Founding Fathers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By CC Thomas on April 10, 2015
Format: Paperback
The whole time I read this book, I could only think of the recent (February 2015) movement by Oklahoma lawmakers that banned certain AP history courses because they didn't teach "American' exceptionalism". If there were ever a case of needing a book in American classrooms, this is it and Oklahoma just proved it. I feel this book should most certainly be required for ALL history teachers (and probably for all Oklahoma lawmakers!). The fact that, according to the book, so many teachers of history are ignorant on this subject is frightening. As a teacher (although not of history), I know this to be true. Many teacher's programs do not focus on giving teachers relevant information so much as indoctrinating them into whatever current educational philosophy is in swing. For the past fifteen years, testing has been in vogue and true academic thought and research have gone out the window as American teachers strive to teach kids to bubble in the right answer. This book does what a book should: makes you think and question and argue and rage. And, then think some more.

This is NOT a book of revisionist history, but rather a book of actual history. While many of the stories were old news to me (heinous Christopher Columbus and the genocide of American Indians, for example), many of the items in the book were new for me to read about. That scared me quite a bit. I like to think of myself as an armchair historian, but clearly I've not been getting the full story. It was so disappointing and disheartening to read about the Vietnam War, a topic I have never been taught and only know about from the news. The beauty of the book isn't that it necessarily rewrites American history; rather, it is the questioning the book causes.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Briana on September 16, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Slightly disappointed in this book. I thought it would be a lot thicker. It doesn't have a ton of pages (probably less than (50) and it's very thin. It comes with a free poster inside which has a ton of information and pictures on it, like you would see in a classroom. Wish it had more pages, the author is great! I recommend this book and all of his other books in the LIES MY TEACHER TOLD ME Series. It was packaged in clear wrap.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Clark M Peters on September 8, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Kind of a "two themes in one" analysis - the brutality and impact of the Columbus voyage and its aftermath on the millions of Americans already living in the Caribbean, intertwined with a devastating critique of what our textbooks say and don't say about that history. The reader should come away with a striking example of how important facts and events become a subjective narrative, how a story can evolve over time, and why much of the history taught in schools is nothing short of propaganda. (Plus you get this big wall poster pointing out various Columbus myths...)
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Leo Evangelista on August 23, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Many primary sources are cited. This is a great guide that would be especially useful for teachers.
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By Ervin L. Johnson on December 7, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
good
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