Review is by Molly
The paperback is presented on 215 pages which include a Table of Contents, an Introduction, chapter texts, appendices, end notes and an index. Chapter titles are interesting and provide a good overview of what the reader may expect to find on the pages of White-washing America.
Mythical America-, -Omitting the Nasty-, and Illigitimate (sic) Heroes- set the tone for the work. The writer begins with the opening statement, "Some of the most well known and beloved myths in America are the stories about the discovery and the early colonization of the New World."† The writer goes on to offer data to support his statement.
White-washing America is not a cheerful little, feel good book. The author writes from the hypothesis that in general; American history classes and textbooks used for teaching history in the United States, are more often than not filled not only with inaccuracy, and at times with half truths, as well as just plain fabrications. He says that while this view is true of many college texts, it is particularly true of the text books accessible today for use in the nation's public high schools.
Presented as illigimate (sic) heroes, per the writer's view, are Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett and others. The chapter titled politically correct vs accuracy discusses American folk hero Kit Carson in far dissimilar vein than is understood by most of America. †
The chapter titled Racism in the Whitehouse discusses the narrow-mindedness the writer believed to be demonstrated by Andrew Jackson, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Harry Truman, Ronald Reagan, George H W Bush, and William Clinton.
White-washing America is packed with information, minutiae and facts which the writer believes all point to the actions of many historians, teachers, artists, and even politicians to, white-wash, American history. In particular the chapter titled Racism in the Whitehouse asks whether a position may be viewed as racism patriotism or perhaps both, as well as asking if what we do is politically correct as relates to precision of historical past. Lies and Propaganda are explored as is The New Rome.
Writer Morris says the exertion for White-washing America has stepped up strength since the 1950's. Morris deems the motivation for at least a part of the half truths that he says are being offered; is owing to an effort to, twist portions of history that are not particularly becoming to the nation, or to a particular ethnic, racial or religious group in order that history will not appear to be as unpleasant as Morris says is so often the case.
Writer Morris' approach is that the "cleaning up" of American history more than likely commenced as a derivative of the approval, political leanings, discredit, or remorse surrounding the events play out in the early days of the nation.
On the other hand, says the writer, many of the early chronicles regarding our country and the men who have become heroes, teemed with fanatical religious narrow-mindedness, racial prejudice, and erroneous conjectures, as well as some down right lies. As with all comparable accounts, the reports surrounding achievements of early Americans have become intensified over time and have become so renowned that they became accepted as truth by default.
As a member of the National Association for Ethnic Studies, the Society of American Archivists, the Organization of American Historians, as well as being a tribal member of the Appalachian American Indians of West Virginia; Writer Morris is a social and political historian.
I found White-washing America to be an interesting book. Most of us who like history are often on the search for the truth as it pertains to our national history, and most of us do realize there is much misinformation accepted as truth today. †
A good addition for school, public and home libraries, White-washing America: Examining The Racism, Sexism, and Government Propaganda Being Taught in America's Classrooms Writer Morris indicates is the result of much personal research and a hope that America's children will receive a more balanced view of our collective past.
NOTE: While I do have a deep and abiding interest in our national history, and I know there are inaccuracies accepted as truth today, I am reviewing this book and am not reviewing the writer's bias, understandings or even his inaccuracies if they are present.
Because I too study history I have found that there is some truth to the notion that our mores, the media, as well as the government itself, have transformed history surrounding some individuals into legendary heroes. Early day figures are often presented as near perfect individuals whose actions were constantly performed from the finest of purposes in addition to always being like-minded with the American way of life.
¬†As a result, Americans often are afforded little opportunity for receiving truthful representations of past figures to measure themselves up to. This fact is perhaps more significant should they be other than white.
I do realize many historical works available today are filled with pro-government misinformation in addition to regularly passing over any information that might reveal anything negative concerning the Founding Fathers, specific ethnic or racial groups, the government, or America in general.¬† I do realize that this is especially noticeable when any of America's Presidents are being discussed.
And again I say - I am reviewing this book and am not reviewing the writer's bias, understandings or even his inaccuracies if they are present. I suggest read the book, if you find the writer to be in error, do some historical research and satisfy yourself as to his correctness, or lack thereof.
These reviews are personal opinions only and in no way reflect other readers' opinions of the books discussed.
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