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The Brutal Truth of American History - Book Report/Review Example

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Summary
James Loewen dissected many myths embellished in the history of the United States and concludes that learning history is not interesting because accounts were written mostly as myths where everything is good and optimistic. Why is this so Loewen credits it to a mix of blind patriotism and outright lies…
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The Brutal Truth of American History
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"The Brutal Truth of American History"

Download file to see previous pages What follows are some revelations from the book.
Loewen intimates that Helen Keller, the blind and deaf woman who learns to speak with the help of a mentor, is actually a radical socialist who was a member of the Socialist party and was for the rise of communism in Russia. Accordingly, she helped found the American Civil Liberties Union, or that she sent $100 to the NAACP with a letter of support. She also supported Eugene V. Debs, the socialist candidate, in each of his presidential campaigns. Why were these facts omitted Because it was better to learn from her example as blind and deaf and then learn to communicate - but not as one with communist ideals
President Woodrow Wilson, the man who called for the creation of the League of Nations in his Fourteen Points for Peace following World War I, was openly racist against black people. Records show that he had invaded many countries in Latin America and provided troops for the Russian Civil War. Also, he had intervened in Cuba, but history books are mum about these. Instead, Woodrow Wilson is remembered as an excellent president through World War I.
The first colony to liberalize slavery was not Virginia but Massachusetts. Some 95 percent of the executives and financiers in America around the turn of the century came from upper-class or upper-middle-class backgrounds. They didn't grow from rags to riches as claimed by history books.
Indians were ahead of Europeans in the United States, but they were wiped out due to violence and disease. America's first 16th century settlers were Africans.
Christopher Columbus' intention when he set out wasn't just to explore, or even trade, but to conquest and exploit, using religion as his front. Columbus was personally responsible for the Indian slave trade, the thievery of the gold mines in the Caribbean, and the deaths of thousands of native peoples throughout the Americas. Columbus led the brutal massacre of thousands of people so he could rob them.
"Indians," as the natives of America were falsely named, are often depicted as "savages," when in fact, the colonizers used techniques such as raping women and children and scalping to conquer these "primitive" societies.
Ponce de Leon didn't go to Florida to find the legendary Fountain of Youth. His main purpose for coming to the Americas was to "capture slaves for Hispaniola."
Vietnam was not seen as a problem since 90 percent of most history books do not mention about its horrors and those that do, paint an incomplete and misleading picture. The United States dropped more bombs during the Vietnam War than in all theaters of WWII, including Hiroshima and Nagasaki!
Critique
This book appears to be written for people who learned American history from high school textbooks not with the real story with all its blotches and blisters, achievements and failures but with some mythology. Loewen's basic premise is that these books were written from white, middle-class perspective of history and were designed to make Americans "feel good" about their past. His main criticism is that textbooks do not teach ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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