Flipped By History James Loewen Analysis

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In James W. Loewen’s “Handicapped by History,” the author exposes the broken nature of what we are taught in history classes in the Cultural Memory vs. Historical Reality framework. Students only hear of Helen Keller’s struggle to learn to read and write and are never taught of her strong humanitarian and socialist beliefs. In the case of Woodrow Wilson, history books often let his efforts during WWI overshadow his white supremacist beliefs and his schemes to overthrow governments in South American countries. Loewen explains why history books tend to create fairytale-like images of American heroes: “We seem to feel that a person like Helen Keller can be an inspiration only so long as she remains uncontroversial, one-dimensional. We don 't want complicated icons” (Loewen 35). He states that textbooks want to keep it simple and do not want their citizens to lose their sense of patriotism by finding out that a past president wasn’t the ideal human being. Thus, students are taught to characterize the lifetime of a figure by only a few of their actions and thus, this minimized version of history wrongly becomes the truth. The article “Why Study…show more content…
The subhuman treatment of women is articulated, “To accept an openly acknowledged role for women in the public sector was to invite extraordinary hostility and ridicule” (Kerber 3). It was seen as a societal norm to ignore the works of women, and allot solely motherly chores. Rather than the belief that women are not capable, the author argues that it is tradition for women to be kept in the shadows for political issues. The author describes the ideal Republican Mother as one who sets up the future for her sons rather than her own future. Reflecting on the role of women today, it is evident that they have developed from being underestimated to key contributors within

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