February 2011

Some Presidents Really Just Don’t Matter

One of my favorite historical books is James Loewen’s book, Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Book Got Wrong. The title is a bit deceptive, of course; the book doesn’t have everything our history books got wrong, of course. But it’s an eye-opening introduction into the major things that we are erroneously taught, and makes several valid points that we should all at least be exposed to and consider.

One point is that our history books often leave out key figures and events while spending entire pages on pointless subject matter. Take past presidents, for example. Many history books spend an entire page per president when, in fact, many presidents did so little or were so lackluster that a paragraph—or less—would suffice in depicting their importance in our history.