Wednesday, October 27, 2004

I stumbled across the coolest book this week. It's History Lessons: How Textbooks From Around the World Portray U.S. History. Authors Dana Lindaman and Kyle Ward have gathered selections from high school textbooks that offer differing views from those presented here at home, covering major (or not so major, depending upon whose viewpoint you're seeing things through) events from the earliest Viking exploration of the New World to modern times--the hostage crisis in Iran, apartheid, Nicaragua in the 1980s, nuclear weapon in North Korea, to name a few.

So far I've read only the chapter on the War of 1812 (of timely interest to me since I'm now reading Patrick O'Brian's The Fortune of War) as portrayed in textbooks in Canada, Great Britain and the Caribbean, and the one on Columbus as viewed in the Caribbean (the authors make note that texts in the islands usually come from either Great Britain or the U.S.). While Columbus isn't demonized to the extent he is in Lies My Teacher Told Me, his nasty side certainly isn't glossed over.

We'll no doubt return to this one next year when we study U.S. History.

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