As the temperature climbs once again into the triple digits I find myself only getting to paint during the early morning hours up to about noon. Once noon hits the temps are usually beyond the recommended temps for the paint. So that leaves me to ponder the fast approaching school year. Each year I am given a certain amount of money to purchase new materials for the classroom and the classes I teach. So this year I decided to purchase some new books that will add to my students understanding of American History as well as improve my teaching of that subject. So this post is just a quick listing of the books I have recently acquired.
The Souls of Black Folk by W. E. B. Du Bois: Du Bois’ 1903 collection of essays is a thoughtful, articulate exploration of the moral and intellectual issues surrounding the perception of blacks within American society.
Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington: Nineteenth-century African American businessman, activist, and educator Booker Taliaferro Washington’s Up from Slavery is one of the greatest American autobiographies ever written. Its mantras of black economic empowerment, land ownership, and self-help inspired generations of black leaders, including Marcus Garvey, Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X, and Louis Farrakhan. In rags-to-riches fashion, Washington recounts his ascendance from early life as a mulatto slave in Virginia to a 34-year term as president of the influential, agriculturally based Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass-An American Slave: One of the most important documents in American history…In this wrenching, classic autobiography, Douglass describes himself as a man who became a slave—and, later, a slave who became a man.
Democracy in America by Alexis De Tocqueville: Over 175 years ago, Alexis de Tocqueville, a young French nobleman and an astute political scientist, came to the United States to evaluate the meaning and actual functioning of democracy. His brilliant discussion of majority rule is still vitally relevant today.
A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn: This should make my Lost Cause Traditionalist friends and Richard Williams spin. Since its original landmark publication in 1980, A People’s History of the United States has been onicling American history from the bottom up, throwing out the official version of history taught in schools — with its emphasis on great men in high places — to focus on the street, the home, and the, workplace.
Teaching What REALLY Happened by James W. Loewen:In this follow-up to his landmark bestseller, Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong, James Loewen continues to break silences and change our perspectives on U.S. history. Loewen takes history textbooks to task for their perpetuations of myth and their lack of awareness of today’s multicultural student audience (not to mention the astonishing number of facts they just got plain wrong). How did people get here? Why did Europe win? Why Did the South Secede? In Teaching What Really Happened, Loewen goes beyond the usual textbook-dominated viewpoints to illuminate a wealth of intriguing, often hidden facts about America’s past. Calling for a new way to teach history, this book will help teachers move beyond traditional textbooks to tackle difficult but important topics like conflicts with Native Americans, slavery, and race relations. Throughout, Loewen shows time and again how teaching what really happened connects better with all kinds of students to get them excited about history.
Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen: Americans have lost touch with their history, and in Lies My Teacher Told MeProfessor James Loewen shows why. After surveying eighteen leading high school American history texts, he has concluded that not one does a decent job of making history interesting or memorable. Marred by an embarrassing combination of blind patriotism, mindless optimism, sheer misinformation, and outright lies, these books omit almost all the ambiguity, passion, conflict, and drama from our past. In this revised edition, packed with updated material, Loewen explores how historical myths continue to be perpetuated in today’s climate and adds an eye-opening chapter on the lies surrounding 9/11 and the Iraq War. From the truth about Columbus’s historic voyages to an honest evaluation of our national leaders, Loewen revives our history, restoring the vitality and relevance it truly possesses. Thought provoking, nonpartisan, and often shocking, Loewen unveils the real America in this iconoclastic classic beloved by high school teachers, history buffs, and enlightened citizens across the country.