A great book, a fun book, and an important book. -— Ira Berlin, Department of History, University of Maryland
Responding to a question on the Public History
Discussion List: "Can anyone suggest recent
studies that document the cultural or social
value of . . . historic sites, museums, and
similar activities?" "I know that this answer
will be controversial, but I say, sure! Lies Across America: What Our Historic Sites Get
Wrong, by James W. Loewen. I know that you will
get a lot of references to books extolling the
positive value of historical sites, but I believe
this book belongs on any objective bibliography
of historical preservation." - Dennis G. Medina,
University of Texas, San Antonio, 11/99.
"I thought Lies My Teacher Told Me was amazing
and I found Lies Across America even more disturbing
and powerful." - Greg Davidson, firstname.lastname@example.org,
"Lies My Teacher...has been an essential part
of my teaching and learning, and I'm looking
forward to making equally good use of Lies Across America!" - Linda Mizell, National Coalition
of Education Activists.
"I read Lies My Teacher Told Me this past
summer and I have just finished Lies Across America. I am fascinated, excited, angry, and
am feeling a host of other emotions. . . . You
have helped to rejuvenate a love, a thirst,
a passion for teaching US history that was within
me." - Stan Wyman, Seaside, CA, 2/2000.
"A true classic, thoughtfully written without
pulling punches." - Chris Kromm, editor, Southern Exposure.
"Lies My Teacher Told Me was a revelation,
although I already had the general idea, and
Lies Across America was a major revelation,
as I had no idea." - Jim Abel, email@example.com,
"Reading your new book, Lies Across America
and love it. Also loved Lies My Teacher Told Me. Both books have taught me a lot and even
changed me. Your books seem more exposing truth
than pushing an agenda (something I feel with
Howard Zinn for example). I also appreciate
the way you approach History like a science
instead of a clearly defined and understood
group of nationalistic facts. . . . Once again
I want to thank you for influencing me on history
more than any other history books ever have."
- Carl Granados, aol.com, 2/2000.
"Lies Across America was a thought-provoking
and interesting experience." - Bruce Kaplan,
"Your book was a revelation to me with all
its detail and vast scope." - Bob Van Nuys,
Stevens Pt. WI, 1/2000.
"Have just read Lies Across America, and have
found myself at times amused, outraged and educated.
Thanks for a thoroughly enjoyable book." - Leonard
A. Hall, email, 1/2000.
"Absolutely an eye-opener and essential reading
to everyone involved in public history." - Scott
Peters, "Historically Speaking," Howell, NJ
"Let me tell you how much I enjoyed your book
Lies Across America. I just finished it and
am now starting your Lies My Teacher Told Me.
I am a history major, and I work at Doubleday
Bookshop in Dallas, TX. . . . I plan on becoming
a history professor and I think that in your
work I have found a role model." - Wesley Johnson,
"In Lies Across America: What Our Historic
Sites Get Wrong, James Loewen takes to task
over 100 erroneous historical markers, monuments,
houses, forts and ships. The author of the award-winning
Lies My Teacher Told Me dissects these monuments'
simplistic versions of American history to reveal
the complex struggles they often conceal. The
result is a fascinating book as valuable to
sightseers as it is to historians."- Publishers Weekly "I applaud and highly recommend Loewen's
book_. Lies Across America is a powerful follow-up
to Loewen's previous work, Lies My Teacher Told Me." - Harry Shattuck, The Houston Chronicle
"Every state has puffed-up heroes, bloated
pioneer legends and inflated tales of military
triumph. This book, sharp as a tack, punctures
the worst of them." - Chris Welsch, Minneapolis Star-Tribune
"A fascinating book." - Bruce Dancis, The Sacramento Bee
"A remarkable achievement_. A brisk, entertaining,
and, at times, inspiring read_. Lies Across America is full of fascinating facts, challenging
ideas and important insights. You will never
read a roadside historical marker the same way
again." - Michael Ross, The Times-Picayune (New
"The book is a fascinating study of what this
country chooses to honor and why. As interesting
as what is honored is what is left out." - Mary
Curtis, The Charlotte Observer
"For the real deal on U.S. history, pick up
Lies Across America. You will second guess your
history courses with revealing facts that counter
conventional wisdom from sites in Alabama to
Wyoming. Each site's misinformation is refuted
with detailed and credible research." - Thom
Storey, The Tennessean
"Loewen has produced a remarkably readable
book about how many historic sties provide false,
misleading or incomplete information." - George
Morris, Sunday Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
"Filled with compelling examples of how history
texts fail to inform our schoolchildren and
how educators can correct the myths and misperceptions."
- James Baldwin, Asheville Citizen-Times (Asheville,
"A wonderful idea for a book. Loewen makes
a good case for the idea that most historic
sites lie." - David Hammack, The Cleveland Plain
"This book takes an often amusing look at the
strange and sometimes sinister motivation behind
the creation of many of America's historic sites."
- Library Journal
"Having just finished your second book of your
Lies series, I wanted to write and congratulate
you on two wonderful books! As a schoolteacher
who currently works in the Education Section
of a museum (which includes historic sites),
I found your books a timely and engrossing read,
a much-needed look into how history has been
manipulated." - Francis French, San Bernardino
County Museum (CA), 4/2000.
"I just finished Lies Across America. This
is the second book of yours I read, Lies my
Teacher.. being the first. I find your writing
and information incredibly empowering. Perhaps
I am biased as an African American, but these
are things I wish I knew for the first 28 years
of my life. I have decided to buy an extra copy
of both books and leave them in the barbershop
I patronize in downtown St. Louis. I figure
if one or two kids read it will make a huge
difference for generations to come." - J. C.
Neal, email, 4/2000.
"As a Navy family in the 50's and early 60's,
we traveled by car each time Dad received a
new assignment, stopping at every historic site
and marker along the way. By the time I entered
high school we'd driven across country seven
times. What an absolute joy and revelation to
read Loewen's book, but it was a bit painful
to see how much misinformation about history
and events I had absorbed and accepted on blind
faith. With this book Loewen has performed an
important and patriotic service. If more people
reflected on the meaning and context of our
historic sites we'd have a better shot at creating
a citizenry willing to use the stories from
our past to inform the choices we make today."
- reader's comment, Amazon.com.
"As the author states, we cannot change what
happened in the past, but we CAN choose how
to remember it. Those who criticize this book
as P.C. revisionism miss the point - they incorrectly
believe that interrogating history and demanding
that truth be a complex, ever-evolving process
are notions that are necessarily "political"
or tainted by bias. How interesting it is that
most people who dismiss the arguments as "politically
correct" choose to perpetuate myth and "feel
good" history at the expense of more uncomfortable
realities. The author believes that while many
people and events in our history are racist,
unfair, and immoral, we should always remember
them for the lessons they provide. However,
he rightfully draws the line at commemoration."
- comment by Rob Gordon at Amazon.com.
"A landmark is a window thru which we view
history. Your book gives us many views of American
history and empowers all of us who are doing
landmarking in our own neighborhoods, unions
and movements." - Saul Schniderman, Library
of Congress, firstname.lastname@example.org, 5/2000.
"I just finished reading Lies Across America,
and I was shocked and dismayed at the reality
of the Confederacy as you stated in your book.
I am 55 and grew up in a southern family. My
great-grandfather, Winfield Scott Lineberry,
was given a field promotion to Captain at the
age of 17, and I was raised to be proud of the
Lost Cause. They told me that it was about states
rights, not slavery, and the truth hurts mightily."
- Scott Minor, email@example.com, email,
"I just wanted to send you a quick note of
thanks for your two books Lies My Teacher Told Me and Lies Across America, which I just finished.
. . . I will never look at another monument,
or my son's history textbooks, the same again.
And I will keep alert for items on the landscape,
which I might change or might introduce." -
Michael Cerone, firstname.lastname@example.org, email,