Read this interesting article from VFW Magazine‘s January issue, Political Correctness Pervades History Textbooks. Excerpts:
Using the Cold War as a test case, it’s clear that the version of U.S. history taught in high schools today is far from from complimentary to veterans.
“It’s vitally important that high school textbooks portray the turbulent Cold War period fairly and intelligibly,” wrote Ernest W. Lefever, 1970s director of the Ethics and Public Policy Center (EPPC), “with due regard to America’s role in the international arena, and with full recognition of the challenges presented by our chief adversary, the Soviet Union.”
So what grade do textbook publishers rate for their treatment of this critical war? Based on past and present analysis, most textbooks flunk. This should be of importance to veterans because their legacy to posterity is at stake. Moreover, taxpayers spend $3.24 billion annually on social studies textbooks and have a right to expect students to be taught accurate information.
In 1978, the EPPC published a landmark study of how the Cold War was presented. Martin F. Herz, the author of How the Cold War is Taught, judged 16 striking foreign policy events in six U.S. history textbooks.
To see if things had changed, I compared treatment of the same events in The American Nation: A History of the United States (10th edition) by John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes. Published by Pearson Longman in 2000 (new editions of textbooks are released about every four years), it’s one of the more commonly used texts.
One thing is evident up front: Americans in uniform played virtually no role in the Cold War, at least in the textbook version of history. Since GIs are absent, we can look only at what importance is attached to key events and how the enemy is portrayed.
Of the six textbooks examined while the Cold War was under way, Discovering American History by Allen O. Kownslar and Donald B. Frizzle was the worst. Published by Holt, Rinehart & Winston in 1974, its relevant chapter was called “The Cold War: Interpreting an Era.” Of the chapter’s 28 pages, fully 43% were devoted to “McCarthyism,” the Left’s all-encompassing criticism of U.S. actions during the Cold War
Not merely whitewashing communism, this book actually lauds it. In attempting to indoctrinate the reader, it contains the “greatest amount of systematic bias,” Herz found. “One can only marvel at the benefit of the doubt accorded the Soviet system,” he wrote. According to Discovering American History, “Under Stalin’s rule, the Soviet Union took great strides forward.”
At every opportunity, it exculpates the Kremlin’s actions while ignoring the Soviet conquest of East Europe. Excluding the policy of containment, it literally rewrites history claiming Truman’s doctrine called for intervention against “democratic revolutions – anywhere.” The Berlin Blockade and Wall are virtually ignored.
Fast-forward 26 years to 2000–almost a decade after the Soviet Union collapsed–when The American Nation was published. This textbook is riddled with statements critical of U.S. policies, while exonerating Communist actions.
Communism itself is neither explained nor its horrific consequences detailed by the authors. A student could only conclude that the United States was waging a conflict against an imaginary, phantom foe posing no real threat to the West.
Soviet dictator Josef Stalin and his regime get nearly a complete pass. “Much depends on one’s view of the postwar Soviet system,” say the authors, as if a high school student had an opportunity to formulate an informed opinion on the subject. An entire column is devoted to complimentary comments about communism and Stalin.
The few negative statements about Stalin are mitigated by extenuating circumstances. Aggressive Soviet behavior is rationalized by claiming “Moscow was seeking only to protect itself against the possibility of another invasion.” Just who would have mounted such an invasion is never explained. In essentially making the case for Stalin, the authors defend the Kremlin’s so-called “legitimate interests” in East Europe.
It is mentioned only in parenthetical notes that Stalin, one of history’s most brutal mass murderers, “ruthlessly executed hundreds of his former comrades.” In fact, he was responsible for the deaths of 20 million people. Students are told that 5,000 Polish officers were murdered in the Katyn Forest in Russia during World War II, “presumably by the Soviet secret police.” It has been known conclusively for 50 years that Stalin personally ordered the execution of 20,000 prominent Poles there.
Read the whole thing.
Do you read the textbooks your kids bring home? Are you aware that the majority of the teachers teaching from these texts are as ignorant as your children – having been taught from similar textbooks by similarly ignorant teachers?
I’m going to quote Connie du Toit one more time, as her statement is still the most valid one I’ve seen in print:
The other day our Carpenter’s helper heard me say something along the lines of, “it is difficult to conclude that incompetence is the reason why our public schools have deteriorated. There comes a point where you have to suspect sabotage, or a conspiracy.”
He asked me if I really meant that. I gave him the five minute explanation of John Dewey’s known affiliation with communists, his frequent essays and articles about the wonders of the Soviet education system, and his quote, “You can’t make Socialists out of individualists. Children who know how to think for themselves spoil the harmony of the collective society which is coming where everyone is interdependent.”
I then went on to tell him about how public schools changed at the turn of the last century. That there were others involved in turning Americans from free-thinking individualists to factory drones. I also added that many people probably went along with it because it seemed like a good idea, but there were certainly enough people behind the scenes, who knew that the goal posts had been moved. THAT is a conspiracy.
Yes. There does come that time when you are forced to don the tinfoil hat.
The incompetence excuse only works once. Incompetence this great is impossible to attribute to accident.
If you need an explanation for the mind-numbed, brainwashed, screeching International ANSWER / Moveon.org / DemocraticUnderground crowd, this is it. They’re the victims of decades of this kind of indoctrination.