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History Lessons: How Textbooks from Around the World Portray U.S. History Cover Image

Staff Reviews

This fascinating book re-prints the portions of foreign high school history texts that deal with US History to make the point that what we take for granted as our past is often not at all what the rest of the world believes.

The duo followed this up with History in the Making, a review of our own history texts over time, revealing such tidbits as a Southern state’s text, which, in essence, called the Ku Klux Klan a “friendly club” that left colored folks notes on their doors on how to better fit in after the Civil War.

Never has it been so apparent that history is in the eye of the beholder!

— Jill


History Lessons offers a lighthearted and fascinating challenge to the biases we bring to our understanding of American history. The subject of widespread attention when it was first published in 2004--including a full front-page review in the Washington Post Book World and features on NPR's Talk of the Nation and the History Channel--this book gives us a glimpse into classrooms across the globe, where opinions about the United States are first formed.

Heralded as "timely and important" (History News Network) and "shocking and fascinating" (New York Times), History Lessons includes selections from Russia, France, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Canada, and others, covering such events as the American Revolution, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Iran hostage crisis, and the Korean War, providing an alternative history of the United States from the Viking explorers to the post-Cold War era.

By juxtaposing starkly contrasting versions of the historical events we take for granted, History Lessons affords us a sometimes hilarious, often sobering look at what the world learns about America's past.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781595580825
ISBN-10: 1595580824
Publisher: New Press
Publication Date: July 4th, 2006
Pages: 404
Language: English