About the Author
James W. "Jim" Loewen (born February 6, 1942) is an American sociologist, historian, and author, best known for his 1995 book, Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong. Loewen was born and raised in Decatur, Illinois. He attended Carleton College. In 1963, as a junior, he spent a semester in Mississippi, an experience in a different culture that led to his questioning what he had been taught about United States history. He was intrigued by learning about the unique place of nineteenth-century Chinese immigrants and their descendants in Mississippi culture, commonly thought of as biracial. Loewen went on to earn a PhD in sociology from Harvard University based on his research on Chinese Americans in Mississippi. Loewen first taught in Mississippi at Tougaloo College, a historically black college founded by the American Missionary Association after the American Civil War. For twenty years, Loewen taught about racism at the University of Vermont. Since 1997, he has been a Visiting Professor of Sociology at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Loewen spent two years at the Smithsonian Institution, where he studied and compared twelve American history textbooks then widely used throughout the United States. He published his findings in Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong (1995). He concluded that textbook authors propagate factually false, Eurocentric, and mythologized views of history. The New Press in March 2012 listed Lies My Teacher Told Me as their top all-time bestseller. He believes that history should not be taught as straightforward facts and dates to memorize, but rather analysis of the context and root causes of events. Loewen recommends that teachers use two textbooks, so that students may realize the contradictions and ask questions, such as, "Why do the authors present the material like this?" Loewen points out that many of the distortions found in American History texts are "not even by the authors whose names grace the cover."
Dr. Fran Kaplan serves as coordinator of the America's Black Holocaust virtual Museum. She has been an educator, social worker, writer, and racial justice activist for nearly five decades. Fran has created and run nonprofit and for profit organizations that address issues from women's health and farmworker rights to nurturing parenting, early childhood education, and peace-building. Fran is also a published writer and the producer of award-winning short and feature films. Her co-authored screenplay, Fruit of the Tree, about the life of James Cameron has won awards in national and regional competitions. The international trainer-consultant for a global parenting education program, Fran authored and co-produced its Spanish-language videos, books, and games. With Dr. Robert Smith, Dr. Kaplan curated and edited Lynching: An American Folkway, a digital transmedia anthology distributed by Biblioboard, Inc. to libraries across the country. Fran has been recognized by various organizations in Milwaukee and Wisconsin for promoting racial justice and providing leadership in children's and human rights. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.