Accurate History Books - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 15 Old 05-17-2004, 10:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am interested in finding accurate history books (i.e. books that admit that Christopher Columbus didn't "discover" America, or that America did cause a fire storm in Dresden in WWII, etc.). I plan to homeschool my children, and I want them to have an accurate view of national and world history. So books on all skill levels (but focusing on adult) would be awesome! Any ideas or recommendations?
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#2 of 15 Old 05-18-2004, 01:43 AM
 
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"A People's History of the United States" by Howard Zinn, is excellent and just what you're looking for! Also, "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" by Dee Brown is an excellent book.


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#3 of 15 Old 05-18-2004, 01:07 PM
 
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i'm reading Lies My Teacher Told Me - Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen and am waiting to read A People's History of the United States after dh is done.
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#4 of 15 Old 05-18-2004, 01:14 PM
 
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A third for "A People's History". Just look up Howard Zinn. Then, in ten years, do a search for my husband & you'll find something, but it'll be specific to Environmental History - Wlasiuk.

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#5 of 15 Old 05-19-2004, 12:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ooh, thanks ladies! All of these books have been added to my list. And, I am currently perusing the History Channel, looking for any alternative history type documentaries, though I doubt I'll have much luck.
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#6 of 15 Old 05-19-2004, 12:23 AM
 
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A second for Lies My Teacher Told Me. but also adding that Jim Lowen also did a 'booklet' specifically about the Columbus lie. I'm not sure what it is called exactly, but I know we have a signed copy of it around here somewhere. Acutally, I think it is The Truth about Columbus or something like that.

And read People's History if you can. It is so powerful! Also, much of Noam Chomsky's works are especially good.
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#7 of 15 Old 06-14-2004, 09:59 PM
 
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Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee is amazing, but so soooo sad. I am a little bit Cherokee.
Noam Chomsky is very good, but heavy going. Still he can deprogramme us from the "matrix".
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#8 of 15 Old 06-15-2004, 10:32 AM
 
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just wondering after finishing Lies... -

do any schools, public or private, teach true history or will it be up to my husband and myself to teach our kids even though they're in school???
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#9 of 15 Old 06-15-2004, 01:02 PM
 
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There is a local high school here that uses People's History as its text. One of the school's we taught at overseas used it to, along with some Chomsky. But I think these are true exceptions.
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#10 of 15 Old 06-15-2004, 01:46 PM
 
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Having taught American History in a public high school, I had to jump in here.
I have used lots of texts...some more "traditional" than others. I (as a raving loony liberal )also taught in a very conservative area in a very conservative school. I had a hard time convincing my students to examine the status quo and to think critically about what they had always accepted as "true".

To do this, I used snippets from all sorts of sources (Zinn is great, as is Stannard (he wrote American Holocaust) and also sources that obviously had a more conservative bias. There is no such thing as an ubiased source. That was something I wanted them to understand. They were always asking me for what "really happened" and I would tell them that they had to be historical detectives and add up the evidence for themselves..not trust a textbook (even Zinn ).

I think that the text that you use is less important than teaching your children to examine the evidence presented to them critically. Do your research, find out what the various (there are usually quite a few) points of view on a particular topic are and have been in the past. Then ask your children to examine the facts, the interpretations and the conclusions drawn by various authors/historians. Ask them why it could be interpreted in different ways and let them draw conclusions about the "truth".

This is not limited to older children, either. Elementary school-age kids love to be detectives. Organize a debate with some other kids (homeschooled or not) and encourage some to take the unpopular side of the debate (i.e. slavery was necessary, Japanese internement camps were too etc.).They will balk, but let them get inside the heads of the people who truly believed that what they were doing was right and good, even though we now see it as inhuman . (Wow, that was a run-on...did that make sense?) Our forbearers came from a different world than we do...kids need to understand that too.

History isn't static and there isn't one "right" way to teach it. Interpretations change and I think that most textbooks/teachers now acknowledge that Columbus didn't "discover" America. However, there is still a great deal of emphasis on the "rightness" of manifest destiny in most texts. Your own feelings will influence your work with your kids (I know mine did), but acknowledge your biases (they aren't necessarily bad) and teach your kids to be critical thinkers and you will do brilliantly.

If you can get your hands on any materials from the Advanced Placement American History prep. stuff, they have something called a Document Based Question that asks kids too interpret a primary source document (letter, political cartoon, painting, article) using their knowledge of the time period. It is a great tool for older kids and you could do something like it with little ones.

Wow, as usual, I have rambled on and on for pages. E-mail me if you want..I am happy to help you put together some ideas. (If you are interested..no pressure ) Can you tell I am not teaching currently.

Good for you for wanting to teach your kids.

::::: Married for ten years to my good man :. Mama to my sweet and funny boy and my lovely little girl

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#11 of 15 Old 06-15-2004, 04:40 PM
 
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I like jessemoon's post.

As someone who loved studying history....mostly because it required one to be a detective otherwise one leaves class really confused (if one is paying attention) ...I want to say that I don't think there is "one" book that would do it.

Dee Brown is great, but writes on a particular topic. Necessary historian on the list, though.

Zinn is great, too. But, I would read some of his other books, too, before plunging fully into People's History.

And I really enjoyed reading primary sources: First person accounts. Studs Terkel is wonderful for lots of first person bits of the 20th century. Martha Gellhorn.

I would also require a mountain of Hunter S. Thompson. Yes, he was (and is, as he is still alive) a walking pharmaceutical toxic dump.....BUT, he wrote well (still writing, but no where near as well, all those years of pharma-abuse have finally taken their toll) and his attitude to journalism is important to analyse in the context of history. I used his perspective when writing essays on various mediaeval annalists.

Teach someone how to DIG and,generally, the "history" will follow.

I might have a serious on-going project be an enormous time line that wrapped around the walls with all the topics covered added chronologically as they come up. Also, a big world map with topics by location with a notation about WHEN they happened. These are really useful for context. I always do modified versions of this for myself.
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#12 of 15 Old 06-17-2004, 07:48 PM
 
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Does anyone know of a really good environmental history book?
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#13 of 15 Old 06-17-2004, 10:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquaduct
Does anyone know of a really good environmental history book?
The Search for the Ultimate Sink: Urban Pollution in Historical Perspective by Joel A. Tarr, published by The University of Akron Press, Akron, Ohio; copyright 1996, ISBN 1-884836-05-4 (hardcover) and xxxxx-06-2 for paperback.

Great read. Great bibliography.
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#14 of 15 Old 06-18-2004, 12:05 PM
 
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"do any schools, public or private, teach true history or will it be up to my husband and myself to teach our kids even though they're in school???"

From all the schools I've seen, I'm pretty sure it's up to you.

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#15 of 15 Old 06-18-2004, 12:44 PM
 
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I think that the text that you use is less important than teaching your children to examine the evidence presented to them critically.
Agreed. I have had numerous discussions about this with my dh, who teaches two community college american history course. One that begins I think with European colonization and goes up to the civil war and the second is after the civil war to the present.

he talks about the people's history book, but doesn't use it....i'm thinking because the book is twice as much to buy. He does use a main text and then there are several "readers" which provide primary sources. his course is structured so that the college students read the primary text for a timeline and then the primary sources (i.e. original documents written at the time - letters, legal papers, newspapers, etc.). He leads an ongoing discussion of the issues the students find at the time. obviously more advanced than you could do with younger kids, but the idea is out there.

there are some fabulous websites for primary sources. i think the library of congress is where he begins.

Kristin -- mom of Erin (11/5/02) and Leah (9/29/05)
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