Lies My Textbooks Told Me: Blowing Up Controversy on Three Mile Island

“He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the past, controls the future.” – George Orwell, 1984

Commonly used history textbooks in American classrooms often misrepresent major historical events, and present material based in liberal political ideology rather than factual happenings.
The Culture and Media Institute has obtained six textbooks commonly used in American classrooms. Three of these textbooks are used to teach 8th graders: Glencoe’s “The American Journey,” Prentice Hall’s “The American Nation,” and Holt, Rinehart, and Winston’s “Call to Freedom: Beginnings to 1877.” The other three textbooks are used to teach 11th graders: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston’s “American Anthem,” Prentice Hall’s “America: Pathways to the Present,” and Prentice Hall’s “A History of the United States.”

These textbooks are used by a majority of the public schools in this country, according to the American Textbook Council, which describes itself as a “non-partisan research organization interested in textbook improvement and review.” In 2003, the director of the American Textbook Council, Gilbert Sewall, testified before the Senate: “Many history textbooks reflect lowered sights for general education. They raise basic questions about sustaining literacy and civic understanding in a democratic polity and culture.”

A careful examination of these textbooks shows that they often display a disregard for basic factual evidence when discussing many major historical events and figures – reflecting the tendency of some historians to interpret history from a liberal political standpoint. CMI will be revealing the results of its investigations into these textbooks in a series of future articles.

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