Lies My Teacher Told Me - Chapter 4, Summary & Analysis

James Loewen
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Chapter 4, Summary and Analysis

Chapter 4 boldly opens declaring American Indians are "the most lied-about subset of our population", with textbooks presenting them, unapologetically, exclusively through white eyes. Textbooks have improved but still utilize culturally insensitive words and seek to comfort the white settlers' descendants. Acknowledging "the Original Sin" of how they have treated Indians inevitably gives whites "red eyes". Only two textbooks, however, devote over five pages to pre-contact Native societies and the authors avoid portraying Natives as "regular folks" with whom students might identify. Wanting quick answers, they ignore fresh information from specialists, and incorporate the discredited theory of a "primitive-to-civilized" continuum. Loewen notes Hitler and Columbus both demonstrate how formally "civilized" societies are more likely to resort to savage violence than "primitive" ones.

After contact with Europeans and Africans, Native societies change rapidly, both materially and spiritually. Most textbooks concentrate on the colorful...

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This section contains 1,989 words
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