James Loewen spent two years at the Smithsonian Institute surveying twelve leading high school textbooks of American History. What he found was an embarrassing amalgam of bland optimism, blind patriotism, and misinformation pure and simple, weighing in at an average of four-and-a-half pounds and 888 pages. In response, he has written Lies My Teacher Told Me, in part a telling critique of existing books but, more importantly, a wonderful retelling of American history as it should - and could - be taught to American students.
Lies My Teacher Told Me won the 1996 American Book Award, the 1996 AESA Critics’ Choice Award, and the Oliver Cromwell Cox Award for Distinguished Anti-Racist Scholarship. It has sold more than 800,000 copies.
Professor Loewen earned his Ph.D. in sociology from Harvard University, and taught race relations for twenty years at the University of Vermont.