James W. Loewen
- Title: Lies Across America: What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong
- Author: James W. Loewen
- ISBN: 9780684870670
- Page: 438
- Format: Paperback
In Lies Across America, James W Loewen continues his mission, begun in the award winning Lies My Teacher Told Me, of overturning the myths and misinformation that too often pass for American history Lies Across America is a one of a kind examination of sites all over the country where history is literally written on the landscape, including historical markers, monu In Lies Across America, James W Loewen continues his mission, begun in the award winning Lies My Teacher Told Me, of overturning the myths and misinformation that too often pass for American history Lies Across America is a one of a kind examination of sites all over the country where history is literally written on the landscape, including historical markers, monuments, historic houses, forts, and ships With one hundred entries, drawn from every state, Loewen reveals that The USS Intrepid, the feel good war museum, celebrates its glorious service in World War II but nowhere mentions the three tours it served in Vietnam.The Jefferson Memorial misquotes from the Declaration of Independence and skews Thomas Jefferson s writings to present this conflicted slaveowner as an outright abolitionist.Abraham Lincoln had been dead for thirty years when his birthplace cabin was built Lies Across America is a reality check for anyone who has ever sought to learn about America through our public sites and markers Entertaining and enlightening, it is destined to change the way we see our country.
Recent Comments "Lies Across America: What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong"
Lies of omission would be a better title. I found this book to be a little disappointing. Perhaps it's my fault for misinterpreting the subject matter. I had assumed it dealt with information that was undeniably wrong or untrue. Presenting things inaccurate in fact rather than too concise or limited in scope.The majority of the entries are not so much out and out "lies" as they are lies of omission or representative of events the author feels are insufficiently recognized. An example of the latt [...]
Lies Across America: What our Historic Sites Get Wrong is an excellent book by James Loewen. He starts first with the western half of the United States since most history textbooks start with the eastern side. All of the information about historical markers is broken up into small sections for easy reading. Loewen proceeds to give state-by-state accounts of historical markers and their errors or in some cases their silliness. Many of the markers honor people as heroes who were in fact overt raci [...]
This book can't possibly be for everybodyI, in fact, started out hating it too repetitious, too dense, way too many footnotes and as an African American, too little of any new revelationsAmerican history is racist so why should its markers and monuments be any different? But as I read I became fascinated with the history and minutiae that's slowly revealed. Much of it local and passed by unnoticed by me for years (A statue honoring a founder of the KKK in Judiciary Square in majority Black Wash [...]
This book actually deserves no stars or a minus star. James W. Loewen obviously has an extreme amount of guilt from being a "White, European-American Male" as his entire book speaks of nothing other than mistreatment and degradation of blacks, native Americans and women to the aggrandizing of WASP American males. The one monument he finds accurate and correct is actually wrong in its interpreting of the facts. The author was a professor at U of VT. He and his ilk are what is wrong with our colle [...]
I'm sorry, but Loewen's scathing attacks on history organizations for failing to preserve and interpret a more open and progressive past fails to take into account the restrictions placed on many organiations to do that. I worked for one of the organizations that was criticized in this book and take offense at his remarks that we failed to adequately preserve women's history in our state markers program. Markers are placed when a private source funds them, so if Mr. Loewen is that upset, he shou [...]
I'm a librarian with archival training who has known several people who worked in public history, including the head of the Indiana Historical Bureau (which produces every historic marker in that state) and actually understands public history as a professional field. And this book is proof that James W. Loewen, while an adequate, if revisionist, historian in the academy, is completely out of his element where something like this is concerned. When Loewen is writing about history itself, his rese [...]
So do you know someone who just doesn't understand the whole take down the statues thing? Yeah? Lend them this book. Loewen not only lists mistakes places make, but also skillfully sets out the reasons for change and how you, as a visitor, can uncover the true story.
A fascinating book that managed to teach me as much about history as about sociology. I am a "collector" of historical markers and belong to a group of crazy people who do the same thing (one of whom passed this book along to me). So I found it educational and a good reminder to take into consideration the people who erected the monuments and markers, the people who fight the most flagrantly incorrect and insensitive markers being removed or corrected, and the people who bankroll museums and suc [...]
Published in 1999, Lies Across America contains 100 brief essays about the mistakes and misrepresentations that abound across the US on roadside history markers. First there are the blatant deceptions: Consider, for example, that The Native American tribe known today as the Delawares had that name foisted upon them by Europeans; its members referred to themselves as Lenape, which means "we are the people". In Kentucky, the log cabin said to be the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln was built 30 years [...]
Awesome book. If you've ever wondered what America really looks like to other countries, this is the book for you. Loewen chose over 100 historic sites/museums/markers to dispel the myths of. Some are more surprising than others, but all of them are interesting. So much that I didn't know about our country. Not everything in the past is as rosy as our government would have us believe. And if we would only learn about these blemishes on our past, then we could learn from them and not repeat them. [...]
I think the timing of my reading of this book with the recent furor over monuments is a coincidence, but a happy one. If you have been watching the news and asking yourself what the big deal is about a bunch of Confederate monuments, read the introductory essays in this book.The biggest thing I learned was the two purposes of monuments. Loewen gives them Japanese names but lord knows I can't remember which was which. Basically, some monuments are erected for the people who were actually involved [...]
I’ll bet the United Daughters of the Confederacy didn’t love this book. I will say that I didn’t love it either – though certainly not for the same reasons. As something of a follow up to his investigation into the dismal state of public school US History textbooks, Loewen sets his sights on the questionable state of monuments, markers, and historical plaques scattered throughout the US. It’s a valiant effort, and certainly makes for a clear thesis about how misinterpretations and misi [...]
This book is about public monuments and the stories they tell. Many public monuments, historic sights, roadside plaques, etc. tell an inaccurate or biased story. The author has gone through a number of these and described what the monument got wrong.For example, in Scottsboro Alabama, the most important event ever to have happened there was the trial of the Scottsboro Boys in 1931-39. The town has several historic plaques in its central square, but nothing about that case.This is very much a pro [...]
When I was in high school, I needed books like this. I knew just enough to be dangerous and books like Lies My Teacher Told Me challenged some of my preconceived notions. Even if I didn't always agree, I learned something and it brought me down a peg. However. Now that I'm older and (I like to think) wiser, I have put aside teenage angst and entitlement. And maybe it is about time Mr. Loewen does too. I've tried getting into this book, and I do think it contains a lot of good points. But I think [...]
This book sort of bored me. I didn't like it as much as his other book, Lies My Teacher Told Me. I think I'd like it more as a travel guide to read before I visit any of these places. I enjoyed reading the sections on states I've lived in or know a lot about (and finding out my home state, Oklahoma, has, in his opinion, the single worst museum presentation in the U.S.). I'm sure when I travel to other states I'll want to read the sections relating to them. It's just a little repetitive to read s [...]
As an avid landmark snarfer, you can imagine my excitement at finding this book on what our historical markers, memorials, and monuments get wrong - and, occasionally, right. Some of it made me very sad. After all, much of American history can be summarized as "white people ruin everything," but there were some bright spots. And some very funny ones, like the woman in Indiana who is only remembered for moving there sans a body part. It certainly opened my eyes when reading markers and visiting m [...]
This is an extremely valuable resource for anyone who enjoys visiting historical sites, because Loewen fills in the unstated or insufficiently interpreted "facts" depicted in a number of these locales. Read up on your local sites or on places you intend to visit, and see them more fully.Personally, I wouldn't sit down with this book and read straight through, because it IS a book of intensely felt criticism, and as such could leave a reader feeling a bit overwhelmed and gloomy. Keep a copy of "A [...]
Once again, only concerned with race. From time to time he omits parts of the story himself, to boost his own point (for example mentioning that labor leader Joe Hill was executed, but never mentioning why, implying it was for his views. Nope - murder). I wanted history, not whining preaching. Disappointing.
I have read James Loewen's Lies My Teacher Told Me, and this makes a very helpful companion volume, although it's now unfortunately quite dated. This is better for skimming and keeping alongside during a road trip, especially for casting a skeptical eye at the anodyne, boosterish language of local historical markers. Some errors are merely amateurish or humorous, or can be charitably excused as local cheerleading. But more ominously, Loewen is at his best at pointing out the sins of omission and [...]
DNF This book wasn't what I expected - it was more thesis project than coffee table book. I understand what Loewen is trying to convey with this tome - that what you see on historical markers across the country isn't always the whole truth, or factual at all. We whitewash racism, lynchings, Native Americans, gays and women in our history. This book is also fat and not very approachable, so I skimmed through it. He groups things into locations, starting with the West and ending with New England, [...]
In this book, author Loewen builds on his previous work about the frequently untaught or mis-taught aspects of U.S. history, by examining how that history is represented on the landscape. Specifically, he takes the reader to historic monuments and markers, and describes what errant lessons those markers convey.It was from this book that I remember one keen observation -- because it might remain on the land for decades, a marker of stone or bronze tells us something about at least three different [...]
After reading Lies My Teacher Told Me, I naturally went straight for Lies Across America. It's another eye-opening page-turner. Even more surprising is the deep history of racism in the United States and how much of that was either ignored or white-washed through statues, monuments, and historical sites. Now, I'll remember them and will make sure not to visit these places (really, shame on these people in towns including Darien, CT, Amherst, MA, and North Elba, NY) because I just don't want to w [...]
Slow read for a good reason. I kept having to set it aside and stew over something or other. Most of the lies from the title are simply un-updated signs. But some are just awful. Now I know why Kentucky, a Union state in the Civil War, is one of the most Confederate leaning states in modern times. And why do many slurs are still in use in the western states. And how there came to be a Confederate memorial statue in Montana of all places!
An absolute joy from beginning to end. Funny, heartbreaking and frustrating, Loewen's book of historically wrong markers and historic sites across America is solid right to the end. He not only provides the facts about markers and what needs to be changed but he ends with a push for us as lovers of history and truth to make these changes.
On one hand, this is a great book that's well written and full of interesting bits of American history and geography. On the other, it makes it clear that Americans have been garbage from day one and it kinda makes me want to burn it all to the ground and start over. I won't do thatif y'all promise to be less racist. Way less racist.
The premise is simple enough, although the relentless stream of essays revealing the actual history quickly becomes a dismal reminder that this country has a long history of being bigots and liars.
Like its predecessor (LIES MY TEACHER TOLD ME), James W. Loewen's LIES ACROSS AMERICA critiques the way Americans chronicle and present their history but this time he takes particular aim at historic markers, monuments, and places. Though at times the arguments lambasting statues of undeserving men and otherwise critiquing the uncritical marker texts tend to be somewhat redundant, the sites he selects and their accompanying histories are quite interesting. I found the story behind the neo-Confed [...]
This was an excellent book and I found out about a lot of history I was vague about, or had never heard of.Among the interesting facts I recall:Many American places, rivers, mountains, lakes, etc were "discovered" by Europeans and named by them, even though Natives Americans had discovered them centuries or millenia ago and already had names for them.The racism and atrocities perpetrated against the Native Americans and African Americans was far more evil and pervasive than anything you will fin [...]
Brilliant!This book could be used in conjunction with a US high school history textbook. It covers almost everything that isn't covered normally. I loved how he focused on the South and their deification of the Confederacy. I am also sick of this glorification. It left me thinking the North probably would have been better off if they just let the Southern states secede and go their own way. To this day the Daughters of the Confederacy dominate the telling of history in the South. By putting up i [...]
The author of Lies My Teacher Told Me, an analysis of American history books and their lack of history and critical thinking, turns his attention to the historic sites across America, what they celebrate, and what they don’t. Loewen begins his book with a series of essays on the issues raised by raising (or razing) monuments and historic sites, particularly as a study of the sociology and history of the times they are both meant to immortalize and the times that created these monuments, and, m [...]
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Title: ↠ Lies Across America: What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong || ☆ PDF Read by ↠ James W. Loewen