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48 Liberal Lies About American History: (That You Probably Learned in School) Paperback – August 25, 2009

3.4 out of 5 stars 130 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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. (Sept. 4)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Larry Schweikart is the co-author of A Patriot's History of the United States: From Columbus's Great Discovery to the War on Terror, and is a professor of history at the University of Dayton. He has written more than 20 books on national defense, business, and financial history.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Sentinel (August 25, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595230564
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595230560
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #524,023 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Larry Schweikart, a former rock drummer who opened for "Steppenwolf," is a professor of history at the University of Dayton. In addition to some of the books mentioned here, he has authored over 50 academic articles, dozens of book reviews, and has been a regular guest on "Fox and Friends."

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
While I think the title of the book is needlessly provocative, I think this a very useful book for anyone who has been subjected to the kind of indoctrination that passes for history education in too many of our public schools and colleges. If you are looking for some quick information on these four dozen issues, this can help you pass on some solid information that probably runs counter to what your friends believe is so. I said the title is needlessly provocative because not all liberals buy into the points of view this book argues against. However, Larry Schweikart is correct that there is a general cultural agenda that supports the liberal view of things. He starts off each article with two or three short quotes from liberal histories that are countered in that article.

The articles cover notions of America's role in the world since the founding, the issues in the various wars we have fought, what FDR knew about Pearl Harbor, Truman and the Atomic Bomb, the JFK assassination, Reagan, key liberal causes such as Sacco and Vanzetti, the Rosenbergs, the Scopes Trial, Columbus and the death of millions of Indians, that pesky wall between Church and State, Women's Rights in early American, the Settling of America and the Indians, and the Robber Barons. Modern issues such as Iraq, 9/11, Global Warming, Media Bias, Educational Bias, and the social theories about our Constitution are also covered. Schweikart admits that saying that the 9/11 conspiracy nuts are liberal is a stretch, but he says he wanted to head off the kind of shoulder shrugs modern texts give to the JFK assassination conspiracy nonsense.

The articles are all relatively short and pack a punch.
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Format: Hardcover
I love doing these reviews. I particularly love the lack of anonymity for most who post their opinions. It is as easy as clicking a link to see the other opinions folks have offered. You can often find that seeing what folks have said about other things is very revealing.

The bottom line is that this book discusses events and issues that have room for the consideration of viewpoints outside the current popular conclusion.

As with any work like this, the proof is in the bibliography. What are the writers sources? Are they primary sources? While you may not agree with some of the conclusions based on the evidence, the author in this case at least makes points that you can follow. You might even go so far as to see how the author has come to his conclusions, even if you do not agree with him.

That is what the free exchange of ideas is all about. Let me suggest that some of the power of the book is not limited to what you are going to specifically read, but rather the books listed as sources that you might want to track down yourself.

For the extremists out there that have just completely attacked this book, let me just suggest that readers simply do a quick click on other opinions written by those folks to get a feel for their bias. In just about every case, you will find that the detractors have a consistent and often intellectually dishonest track record of praising only extreme left offerings (in many cases ones which we now know were filled mostly with incorrect information).

In this case, the author loses a star for some occasionally stale or lackluster writing. However, he does do a good job of keeping your attention on what he is talking about and walking you through his conclusions with references.
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Format: Hardcover
Wow, I knew this book was coming out and got it in the mail last week. I sat down with it the first night and ended up reading about a third of it in one sitting.

What a nice change from the usual politically correct historical mantra---what a relief! I know Larry and have read many of his books, but this new book is kind of a Schweikart "greatest hits" collection of short engaging essays. It is a perfect present for someone's bedside reading table.

Schweikart pinpoints four dozen *key* historical debates and *proves* how they have been misinterpreted and politicized in mainstream college and high school history texts (0ne of the books is assigned in my son's history class!!). This book is a scathing indictment of the modern historical profession. Schweikart proves that some (not all) contemporary historical writing is motivated by politics---its end is not the pursuit of truth but rather propagandizing a leftist perspective of American history. When Schweikart gets done surveying American history texts (he has carefully examined over twenty), one must conclude that much of what has been written in them is more folkloric than historic.

Schweikart's overarching conclusion is that, despite the "48 Liberal Lies" ubiquitous in the modern curriculum, the *truth* about American history is, by and large, a positive and uplifting story. Certainly, there have been mistakes and shameful acts, but compared to what? In the large view, the American cup is not only 'half full,' it is 3/4 full! Thank you Larry Schweikart.
Mike Allen
University of Washington, Tacoma
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