Essay on Lies My Teacher Told Me Heroification

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Ashley Walker Mr. Scott INTD 101-18: The Art of Seduction 29 September 2011 A False History James Loewen uses his piece Lies my Teacher Told Me to reveal the flaws in America’s mainstream textbooks. Loewen points out the fact that textbooks try to “indoctrinate blind patriotism” (Loewen 6) and “keep students in the dark about the nature of history” (Loewen 8). Almost every American textbook sells history using the “soft seduction” approach, as explained in Robert Greene’s book, The Art of Seduction. Textbooks try to seduce Americans into being proud of their country by making American historical figures look like heroes, like in the case of Helen Keller, Woodrow Wilson, and Christopher Columbus. “Heroification” (Loewen 11) has a…show more content…
This educational movie leaves the important details of Helen Keller’s life because its goal is to make one feel uplifted instead of truly educating them, a tactic of Robert Greene’s soft seduction. A historical figure that has been as outstandingly misrepresented as Helen Keller is Woodrow Wilson. Like Keller, Wilson is only known for his positive contributions. When asked about Woodrow Wilson, most people can only recall his great accomplishments such as supporting Woman’s suffrage and establishing the League of Nations. It is not well known that Wilson invaded Latin America and Russia causing unnecessary violence. Loewen states that “Any accurate portrayal of the invasions could not possible show Wilson or the United States in a favorable light” (Loewen 17). Loewen explains that all textbooks have a way of defending Wilson by suggesting he was forced to do these unjust invasions. This is a characteristic of Greene’s soft seduction because the textbooks are presenting Wilson’s violent invasions in a “soft” way by being “indirect” (Greene 441) instead of saying that Wilson wanted to invade Latin America and Russia. This “heroification” of a past president is bad for students to learn because they grow up with a false history of their own country. A famous hero of American history with a story even more distorted than Helen Keller and Woodrow Wilson is Christopher Columbus. In almost every textbook
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