Book Review: Lies My Teacher Told Me written by James W. Loewen

Lies My Teacher Told Me is a thought-provoking book which reveals just a few of the most common lies and misconceptions taught in today's history classrooms. Professor James Loewen studies not one, not two, but 12 of the most used American history textbooks and concludes that not one of them does a semi-decent job of making history memorable or interesting. As a student, I am outraged that I am only just now learning the other side of the story that I have been learning about my entire academic career: American History.

Each chapter of this book goes in-depth and sheds some light on one or two subjects commonly taught in high schools across the country. The truth told in the ten chapters of this book is much more memorable than what is taught in school today.

Loewen does an amazing job of taking important topics and teaching you that they are not all fairy tales and rainbows. For example, chapter two talks about Christopher Columbus. Many people think of Columbus as a hero who discovered the New World and improved the lives of many Europeans. This book explains that, yes, he did come to the Americas; however he took part in many cruel and morally wrong events that are very frowned upon in today’s society.

I think that Lies My Teacher Told Me is an incredibly eye-opening book that everyone should read at least once in their lifetime. Due to the high level of reading comprehension needed to fully understand this book, I recommend it to anyone who can follow higher level pieces of literature.

This book opened my eyes to a number of things that I wish I had known in my past years as a student. I believe that reading this book will allow for improved levels of understanding in middle or high school American History classes. I think that schools should consider using the book in their curriculum or giving it as a resource for assignments, or even recommended for anyone who wants to do some research on their own time.