James Loewen Herofication Chapter Summaries

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In this chapter James Loewen approaches “Herofication” in history as a sense of idolization and false misinterpretation of figures in history. Loewen throughout the chapter surrounds the making of heroes, in which he describes as a degenerative process. He explains that “heroes” are shaped and built up and taught in the classroom most times leaving out and belittling other heroes even when having extensive backgrounds. The chapter ties back to what he believes the textbooks got wrong, he compares to notable figures in history, Helen Keller and President Wilson and how they are depicted. Loewen argues that text books fail to show the relationship between a hero and a person instead they give highlights of the “hero” and don’t give a full…show more content…
In Loewens point of view the books omit important details for reasons of appraisal of a “hero like Columbus. He explains that its just easier to talk about Columbus as a hero, he already has the holiday and with the ideas of heroification under his name it’s easier to shape him as a hero and not reveal the true importance of his existence. Columbus’ story is misinterpreted and the truths are hidden not revealing the wrongs of his voyages in textbooks as made evident in the chapter. Faking stories is dominant in textbooks as Loewen explains and how he read 12 different versions in the books he so much refers to. Not only is Columbus praised upon but he is mentioned as the first man to discover the Americas which is untrue. And Loewen further states how textbooks minimize other expeditions and how those explores are no where near praised as much as Columbus. Rather textbooks, seem to act as if expeditions began in the 1400’s in Europe but they didn’t. As Loewen states, “Most textbooks make no use of primary sources. A few incorporate brief extracts that have been carefully selected or edited to reveal nothing unseemly of the Great Navigator.” (p.63). Not only did Columbus bring wealth to Europe through his works, colored people were oppressed and are unmentioned. Textbooks don 't reveal behind the prosperity and don 't mention these things because no one wants a “hero” to be a bad guy. For
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