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Considering history taught today; do you think it is more fact or fiction?

Originally published on HistoryNet.com. Published Online: October 20, 2010 
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Considering history taught today; do you think it is more fact or fiction?


7 Responses to “Considering history taught today; do you think it is more fact or fiction?”


  1. 1
    Darryl Raby says:

    At any level below college ( & sadly at some colleges) it is mythology, not history

  2. 2
    Chuck says:

    It is what every liberal teacher thinks it should be. I say go back to the history books and teach it like we learned it. None of your bias slant on history.
    Our nation withour it's history is nothing!!!

    Chuck in Montana

  3. 3
    Mike H. says:

    I couldn't agree more,Darryl…except here, in the Volksrepublik Kalifornia, Where Der Fuhrer, AH-nuld, has restricted education funds to the point where the schools don't TEACH History.

  4. 4
    Chemerdjb says:

    IS history taught in schools today?

    Having recently (last 10 years) watch my 4 children go through and graduate high school, I am not sure what is being taught. It seem to me to be more of a sociology/psychology exercise than anything else.

    I don't mind the round out of the courses with the real contribution by all Americans, but lets also put things in their proper context, and not use today's value judgments to condemn great men and women of the past and denigrate past accomplishments

  5. 5
    Elijah says:

    I think that history today that is taught in schools is a mixture of fact, fiction, and lies that have been passed on throughout the years. For example, the American Civil War has had many different views stressed about it, but the only thing that ever shows up in history books (for the most part) is that it was fought solely over slavery. However, read the soldiers letters and you will find that very very few actually fought for slavery, they fought for states rights and to protect their families. But you never hear that mentioned in a high school history text. In fact, many schools (at least the ones I have come in contact with) do not teach about the Civil War, but about the technology in the War.

    Now, I don't mean to emphasize the Civil War, that is just what I am passionate about and know about. But I believe that the history being taught today is neither fact, nor fiction, but merely watered-down versions of the parts that may not have even made such a big difference in that specific era in time.

    Personally, I am very dissapointed in how history is taught today in schools! Math, Science, and English are stressed so much, but history is barely stressed at all. In fact, on most tests to get into college, history is not even mentioned. Social Studies or Social Science is, but neither is the true form of History that should be taught.

    School kids today are not learning enough about their country's history. Most of the high school history classes (again, that I have come in contact with) are World history and not American history. How can our country thrive in the future if the people who will form that future know little to nothing of our nation's past? "The past is the key to the future." We can learn from past mistakes, but if the past mistakes are not taught then we are doomed to repeat them.

    I do not mean to get onto a rant, but this is something I feel very strongly about and am very glad that this question was asked.

  6. 6
    James Bruce says:

    After reading my college textbook on the Cold War, its simplified fact so much so that much of it is exaggerated or just plain false. I find many "history" books falling for the use of emotive language and exaggerations just to make money.

    I wish aiming to be as objective as possible would be money making, or at least adopted by most historical writers.

  7. 7
    Jim Lindner says:

    I agree with some of the posts above, but I'd like to see more history in general. World history is not necessarily bad and should be taught in conjunction with American history to help with perspective. But to answer the question is it fact or fiction, I would hope we are teaching facts. Political correctness has damaged history. But so has the notion of American exceptionalism. To say that somehow we are an exception to the tide of history is just plain stupid. However, to approach history in a way that is inoffensive to certain groups is equally dumb. America has its place in history. It is what it is. We shouldn't try to hide our skeletons but we needn't apologize for what we've accomplished. We have exploited, murdered, seized opportunities, defended ourselves, helped others, fought, died, conquered, been defeated, invented, cured, healed, taught, ruled, made mistakes, miscalculated, allied, laughed, cried, boomed, busted, explored, preached, sang, written, and a hundred other verbs. We've won, lost, agreed, disagreed all in the name of advancing our society. And you know what? Every other culture since time began have done the same things. We enslaved, freed, aided, helped, connived, just like any other society. We can't deny our past but we shouldn't try to ignore it. Humans will always be humans. To claim that because certain humans are part of a particular national identity or political affiliation have certain rights or privileges is a bunch of crap. History can be brutal. It will offend. It will shock and disappoint. It will make us proud and embarrass us. If we claim exception how do we account for our shortcomings? If we try to dilute history so it does not offend, then how do we come to terms with or dark side? We are human so why do we try to hide it? We shouldn't claim to be something we aren't. Liberal or conservative should not even enter into the conversation. How about just be honest with ourselves? If something about our past embarrasses us, then let's work to prevent it from happening again. If a certain group is offended by something, then tell them to suck it up and move on. Let history be history. It should not be political. Nor should it be a fantasy.



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