The Lies My Teacher Told Me And A People 's History Of The United States

1691 Words Aug 21st, 2014 7 Pages
American history has been altered consistently by textbook companies, leaving out important details which introduce the focuses in a lighter manner and leaves the learner asking questions. In their novels, The Lies My Teacher Told Me and A People’s History of the United States, James Loewen and Howard Zinn divulged the missing facts that textbooks omit. Loewen and Zinn highpoint the important facts that people were not exposed to in the textbooks or other novels. In the case of young children, it is understandable for teachers to leave out such facts and only promote what is relevant at the time. However, for high school students, college students, and even adults, the omitted materials deprive the learners of a sense of knowledge and leave holes in the topic.
At the start of chapter one of A People’s History of the United States, Howard Zinn covered the topic of Columbus and the Native Americans he encountered on his voyage. He included a statement from Columbus regarding the native Arawaks tribe. “They would make fine servants…make them do whatever we want.” Here Columbus is portrayed as a cruel Spanish conquistador who desires power. In elementary schools, and even in high school, these details are left out and portray Columbus as an innocent man who happened to stumble upon the Americas. Any details of a ruthless man starving for gold and authority are left out. Zinn also quoted Columbus describing the Native Americans as, “so naïve and so free with their…
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