Lies my Teacher Told Me- James W. Loewen


"They (authors of high school history textbooks) see our policies as part
of a morality play in which the United States typically acts on behalf of
human rights, democracy, and 'the American Way.' When Americans have done
wrong, according to this view, it has been because others misunderstood us,
or perhaps because we misunderstood the situation. But always our motives
were good. This approach might be call the 'international good guy' view."
(Loewen 210-211)
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Chapter 8:Watching Big Brother:What Textbooks Teach about the Federal Government

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This text presents interesting dilemmas:
  • Can a government be truly effective if it is considered fallible?
  • Does the government always have the best interest of the public in mind?
  • Does the government have a responsibility to be transparent and inform the public?

Recently, a man named Julian Assange and his website "Wikileaks" have caused an uproar in the global community. There is a lot of controversy surrounding his actions and specifically the confidential U.S. government documents he posted on his website. On one side of the debate, the argument is that these documents are meant to be kept secret and could endanger our efforts overseas; on the other side, people are saying that if the government is indeed engaging in these kinds of activities, the public has the right to be informed about it.

  • Here is a video posted by national news network CBS on the topic.
  • Here is an interview with some of the most famous whistle-blowers in the last century from CNN.
  • Here is an interview with Julian Assange with a British news organization, The Guardian.

These YouTube videos from different news organizations pose additional questions.
  • Has journalism lost its way?
  • Can anything be truly kept secret in the age of the internet?