American Textbooks And Its Impact On Society Essay

1314 Words Aug 24th, 2015 6 Pages
“By idolizing those whom we honor, we do a disservice both to them and to ourselves… We fail to recognize that we could go and do likewise.” (Loewen, 11) This statement means that by ignoring the flaws of a historical figure, we are ignoring some of what we could learn from them, while simultaneously stunting possible improvement. American textbooks frequently lionize important people, possibly because showing any flaws or weaknesses of character they might have could stand to tarnish the public’s opinion of the person’s reputation. In this chapter, Loewen writes about the tendencies of textbooks to only focus on the positive things one did, as opposed to also making note of some of the more unsavory actions and ideals, in addition to their historically-relevant deeds. For example, overwhelming scores of Americans know that Helen Keller was a blind and deaf woman, and know that she later went on to become a public speaker. Most, if not all, textbooks leave out Keller’s achievements after she graduated from Radcliffe in 1904. Very few Americans are aware that Keller was a committed socialist. She vehemently supported the Socialist Party, and rejoiced at the institution of communism in post-revolution Russia, even writing “With pain and anguish the old order has given birth to the new, and behold… Onward, comrades, all together! Onward to the campfires of Russia! Onward to the coming dawn!” (Loewen, 14) Keller was also a supporter of the National Association for the…

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