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Summary Of Lies My Teacher Told Me

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Introduction to Analyzing Arguments

1. What is the topic? The book, Lies My Teacher Told Me, begins with an introduction in which author James W. Loewen empathizes with the students. He discusses how History, specifically American History, is taught incorrectly. Loewen is able to share his understanding of why high school students think history is boring. He begins his argument with facts and numbers by saying that out of all the subjects in school, history is almost every student's least favorite subject. He goes on to say that teachers also misrepresent history to students by teaching history as a ¨set of facts¨ rather than ¨showing how we got to this point.¨ Loewen’s writing style is much more relaxed than a typical non-fiction
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Loewen is clear with his argument within the first 7 pages of this non-fiction book. He believes that due to the strong nationalism and patriotism in our country, American History textbooks will leave out anything that makes our country look bad. He believes that information is simply left out because it does not represent the “...great America we are.” Loewen is able to further develop his argument by pointing out events that American history textbooks simply avoid or cover up. For the most part, each chapter in this book discusses a certain time in history that is not covered to the fullest extent. For example, chapter two of this book talks about Christopher Columbus and how he was the one to discover The Americas. When in fact, there is a huge possibility that the Phoenicians made a voyage to The Americas or even an African voyage, “Of all the textbooks I surveyed, only two even mention the possibility of African or Phoenician exploration.” Loewen points out that textbooks like to think of the Europeans being the best and the smartest. The last problem that Loewen mentions is that American History textbooks heroify many important figures and make them seem flawless. Not only do they heroify people, but they also do this with important events, for example, Loewen argues that the first Thanksgiving “...is a myth…” and that we heroify the pilgrims that allegedly ate with the
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