Heroification In American History Book Analysis

1560 Words 7 Pages
In Chapter 1, Loewen 's main thesis is on the idea of Heroification in American History textbooks. This is the process of making people seem like flawless heroes in order to preserve their image in the eyes of others. This is especially done with historic figures; textbooks mask all of their "unpleasant traits", thinking that it may keep readers more ignorant and more importantly, patriotic. Loewen 's argues that, in reality, this ignorance is what makes teenage students hate history class and call it boring. He points out two people in particular who have been idolized as icons of America: Woodrow Wilson and Helen Keller. According to critic Norma Gabler, textbooks are supposed to "present our nations patriots in a way that should honor …show more content…
More is assumed to be better. Even road signs marking towns often displayed population count, because of the idea that the more people a town has, the more successful it is. Loewen offers the idea that textbooks present progress in this way because this is the way that Americans like to think of education: hope for the future and step-by-step opportunity for everyone. But while most textbook authors realize that bigger is not always better, it still seems to be that more money and more spending equals more happiness. However, even though Americans used much more raw materials and energy in 1970, they were not significantly happier than they were in 1957. Textbooks explain America 's crises in the upsurging use of raw materials like oil very simply; as problems that found immediate solutions. But if really was not that simple at all. The 1973 energy crisis made people realize that the country could not just obtain economic growth forever. It pointed to the awareness that capitalism was never meant to accommodate shortage. The planet is finite, which means that the more expanded our capitalist economy becomes, it becomes less likely that else developed nations can expand theirs. Looking back in history, it is obvious that humans have survived by taking the resources of "less developed" societies to further fuel their own. When Christopher Columbus arrived in Haiti he wrote "Considering the beauty of the land, there must be gain to be got." And further, he ravaged the land and transformed it in the name of quick profit. Even so, textbooks still assure that humans are getting more "advanced" and tolerant. Loewen theorizes that maybe we just think that we are more tolerant. And that the ignorant ideas of infinite advancement only makes us believe that cultures used to be more primitive than they really were. Loewen concludes that maybe

Related Documents