Video: Textbook History

How American History Textbooks Skew the Past

National Association of Scholars

America needs better American history textbooks. America’s children are growing up to know little about the story of their nation’s failures and successes. At a time when America is wrestling with its past on so many fronts, it is imperative that students learn a history that is fair-minded, fact-based, and not subject to ideological bias. History books, from which many children are taught, should be well-written to make students interested in American history. We can and must do better.

On April 27th at 2 pm ET the National Association of Scholars launched Skewed History: Textbook Coverage of Early America and the New Deal, our review and critique of five textbooks’ coverage of four historical periods: The European Settlement of North America (1492-1660), Colonial America (1660-1763), The Nation’s Founding (1763-1789), and The New Deal (1933-1940).

Skewed History was written by David Randall, Director of Research at the National Association of Scholars; Bruce Frohnen, Professor of Law at Pettit College of Law, Ohio Northern University; Kevin Gutzman, Professor of History at Western Connecticut State University; Jason Ross, Associate Professor and Associate Dean of the Helms School of Government at Liberty University; Amity Shlaes, Chair of the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation; and William Pettinger, Research Associate at the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation.

This event featured the report’s authors as they discuss what they recommend for a better history curriculum and textbooks, as well as their reflections on how a better history education will affect how America negotiates its future based on an illustrious, though imperfect, past.

In addition to the report’s authors, this webinar will included Robert Paquette, President and Executive Director at the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization; Stanley Kurtz, Senior Fellow of the Ethics & Public Policy Center; Katharine Gorka, Director of the Feulner Institute’s Center for Civil Society and the American Dialogue, Heritage Foundation; Jamie Gass, Director of the Center for School Reform at the Pioneer Institute; and Theodore Rebarber, CEO of American Achievement Testing.

Skewed History and our History Instructional Materials and Support project has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in Skewed History or in this launch event, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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