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History on trial : culture wars and the teaching of the past

Author: Gary B Nash; Charlotte A Crabtree; Ross E Dunn
Publisher: New York : A.A. Knopf : Distributed by Random House, 1997.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : 1st edView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
What, the authors ask, is the purpose of teaching history to children? Do we revise and reinterpret the past to tell previously ignored stories because they reflect present-day democratic values and speak to the issues of our own time? Or do we believe that the primary role of schools, textbooks, and museums is to preserve traditional versions of the past, to teach the basic facts, and to instill patriotism in our  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Gary B Nash; Charlotte A Crabtree; Ross E Dunn
ISBN: 0679446877 9780679446873
OCLC Number: 36501219
Description: xiv, 318 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Contents: In the matter of history --
Hallowed history, new history --
Postwar paradoxes --
Years of ferment --
History, culture, and politics --
History wars abroad --
Setting national history standards --
The right-wing assault --
Inside the beltway --
Lessons from the history war.
Responsibility: Gary B. Nash, Charlotte Crabtree, Ross E. Dunn.
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Abstract:

What, the authors ask, is the purpose of teaching history to children? Do we revise and reinterpret the past to tell previously ignored stories because they reflect present-day democratic values and speak to the issues of our own time? Or do we believe that the primary role of schools, textbooks, and museums is to preserve traditional versions of the past, to teach the basic facts, and to instill patriotism in our students? How has this country grappled with these questions and developed its standards in contrast to other nations? As head of the National Endowment for the Humanities from 1986 through 1992, Lynne Cheney funded the creation of national standards in various disciplines. History was assigned to an office at the University of California, Los Angeles - designated the National Center for History in the Schools - where Nash and his colleagues began to gather ideas and opinions from all sectors of the educational community. After the standards were written and published in 1994, Cheney attacked them in the Wall Street Journal for being too politically correct, for not adequately recognizing some of the great figures of the past, and for giving too much attention to women and minority groups. Rush Limbaugh, Pat Buchanan, and other conservative voices denounced the standards and their writers in a media war that continued for more than a year and culminated in action by the U.S. Senate. History on Trial tells the story of this rancorous debate, how changes in the standards were made, and how the resulting documents are now being widely used in our schools to further the accessibility and relevance of history.

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