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James W Loewen in my opinion makes a very valid argument in Lies My Teacher Told Me He argues that teaching of history today relies too much on the textbooks which glorify the United States and its imperfect leaders and heroes His examples in fact are very surprising to those most unfamiliar or deceived in their understanding of American History and are painfully obvious to those fairly educated in the events of our nations past Personally I agree with Loewens statements and find his points to be deserving of merit myself having been taught from various sources other than text books and already informed of some of the incidents he refers to The event or chain of events which came most surprisingly to me was Loewens description of the first Thanksgiving I had already remotely known about some of the circumstances but the bitter details of American settlement astonished me For example I had learned as early as fifth grade that the Europeans brought disease to Native Americans but not that the fatality rate was ninety to ninety-six percent I also knew of the first European settlements of St Augustine Roanoke and Jamestown which Loewen criticizes as being left out of or only mentioned in some books He also criticizes the textbooks for having instilled the thought that Europeans had settled America beginning with the arrival at Plymouth he states that long before their arrival Indians had settled the land and had routes connecting the Rockies to New England and the Great Lakes to Florida Furthermore black African runaway slaves were the first foreign settlers he says Loewen is truly a very learned historian listing innumerable details and examples he corrects the misconception concerning Squanto who did not openly help settlers but had no other choice upon finding his tribe dead after smallpox the bubonic plague and other diseases swept through He also mentions things like maps and guidebooks given to the pilgrims and
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