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#1
As some of you may know, our textbooks aren't perfect. Facts are often omitted our twisted by the publishers for their own political conservative gains. Such an example was the Texas Board of Education winning the vote to change the curriculum for a more conservative slant over a year ago (source if you don't remember)

BUT... All hope is not lost for those who go beyond the traditional educational social studies course. Some go to independent outside sources with written works on certain histories, and that's where this thread comes in.

Do you believe everything your textbook tells you? Do you expand your education past the typical history course? If so, list the independent sources you go to.

I like Howard Zinn's A People's History of The United States

And

Anything by Michael Parenti
#3
I don't trust in it 100%, but I think most of the stuff in the textbooks is fairly accurate, albiet biased. But bias is everywhere, so it's an unwinnable battle if you ask me.
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#4
Any textbook that is put up online in its entirety for people to read for free is one that I'll try to avoid.
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#5
History textbooks in American schools are a joke. It seems their sole purpose is to glorify Imperialist colonialism and demonize anyone that falls out of mainstream politics.
#6
Remember, history is written by the winners
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Last edited by rworsl at Aug 1, 2011,
#7
Quote by Carnivean
Any textbook that is put up online in its entirety for people to read for free is one that I'll try to avoid.

I can find the Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital online for free. I guess that completely shatters their credibility doesn't it?
#8
Just about everything ever written has bias. Take "A People's History of the United States" by Howard Zinn. In the introduction he claims that the book will show no bias, but the book ends up being incredibly biased.

That being said, the book brought up a bunch of points that aren't really discussed in any kind of text book and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, but it was biased nonetheless.
#9
Quote by due 07
History textbooks in American schools are a joke. It seems their sole purpose is to glorify Imperialist colonialism and demonize anyone that falls out of mainstream politics.


Remember, history is written by the winners


Yerp.

There's no such thing as an unbiased account of history. I've lately been trying to find such a thing and there is none. Unless you were there, you have only somebody elses account of the event.
“Just to sum up: I would do various things very quickly.” - Donald Trump
#10
Quote by Myfirstpubes
I can find the Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital online for free. I guess that completely shatters their credibility doesn't it?


Yup.

Same with the bible.
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#11
I just read that Texas article and got angry about it again. Damnit TS.
Please excuse my godawful username. I was thirteen.
#12
I'm sorry, TS' name is preventing me from taking this thread seriously.
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#13
Quote by Carnivean
Any textbook that is put up online in its entirety for people to read for free is one that I'll try to avoid.
Why do you feel this way? A capacious amount of political and economic textbooks are given away for free as .pdf files online.
#14
Quote by SlipknotRule93
I'm sorry, TS' name is preventing me from taking this thread seriously.

Like if I hadn't heard that before
#15
I don't believe everything I read from a textbook, within reason.
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#16
Quote by rworsl
Remember, history is written by the winners


Damn you, I came in here to post that
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#17
Quote by SlipknotRule93
I'm sorry, TS' name is preventing me from taking this thread seriously.

Myfirstpubes is the best username on UG. Get out.
Please excuse my godawful username. I was thirteen.
#18
I think biased media has an interesting place in learning. When I looked up that Zinn book, it seemed extremely biased to me, but as someone above pointed out, it asked interesting questions that someone who is unbiased or someone on the other end of the spectrum might not. This opens up a lot of different viewpoints one can learn from.

It is however, important for a person to recognize bias, and then determine if its is reasonable or stupid Bill O'reilly bias.

More OT: The history books I used weren't terrible and didn't really alienate any group of people. The only things I remember specifically were the lack of time spent on Japanese internment and the large amount of time spent talking about how terrible McCarthyism was.

Also, now that I am older, I care a lot less about that stuff. It is only interesting from an academic standpoint.
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Last edited by shikkaka at Aug 1, 2011,
#19
Quote by due 07
History textbooks in American schools are a joke. It seems their sole purpose is to glorify Imperialist colonialism and demonize anyone that falls out of mainstream politics.



Yeah right, go read a history textbook dude, it's more like they brainwash kids to think that America is bad, capitalism is evil, and that more socialistic countries are better than America in every, way, shape, and form.

They hardly teach any kind of accurate history, and omit alot of information, usually taking things way out of context so the reader gets a false sense that America is bad.

If you think otherwise because you believe what you've been told then you are an idiot. Read a history textbook, then compare it to the actual history from the actual documents of the time, they usually contradict each other.
#20
My biggest issue with history is the lack of context that should be a companion to every fact spewed forth.
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#21



Jenkins basically argues that there is no "history" as we think of it, but rather a bunch of stories written by historians. Of course that barely sums up the book, but it's more or less his overall thesis.
#22
Quote by wizards?
Just about everything ever written has bias. Take "A People's History of the United States" by Howard Zinn. In the introduction he claims that the book will show no bias, but the book ends up being incredibly biased.

That being said, the book brought up a bunch of points that aren't really discussed in any kind of text book and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, but it was biased nonetheless.

The version of the book I read had no introduction. The Audiobook version had an introduction by Zinn where he acknowledged completely the bias of his book, in that he intended to tell history from the perspective of the ordinary person rather than that of the kings and statesmen.
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#24
Quote by Myfirstpubes
I can find the Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital online for free. I guess that completely shatters their credibility doesn't it?


Those are not overarching, general textbooks. A good textbook, and yes they are all "biased", costs 100$ to 300$ dollars. This guy has put up his textbook online for free, making it a little difficult to take seriously. Of course there are historical documents online for free, yet recent textbooks that intend to be read by students and educate them on a number of subjects usually come with a hefty price.
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#25
Quote by Ur all $h1t
The version of the book I read had no introduction. The Audiobook version had an introduction by Zinn where he acknowledged completely the bias of his book, in that he intended to tell history from the perspective of the ordinary person rather than that of the kings and statesmen.

I have an earlier version, and it was a few years ago when I read it last. I'm probably off on this one.
#26
Quote by Carnivean
Those are not overarching, general textbooks. A good textbook, and yes they are all "biased", costs 100$ to 300$ dollars. This guy has put up his textbook online for free, making it a little difficult to take seriously. Of course there are historical documents online for free, yet recent textbooks that intend to be read by students and educate them on a number of subjects usually come with a hefty price.

He hasn't put them online for free, someone else has and it hasn't been taken down. This is the case for thousands of books (for instance I recently downloaded a .pdf of one of the best Psychology textbooks).
"Why should we subsidise intellectual curiosity?"
-Ronald Reagan

"Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness."
-George Washington
#27
Quote by Carnivean
Those are not overarching, general textbooks. A good textbook, and yes they are all "biased", costs 100$ to 300$ dollars. This guy has put up his textbook online for free, making it a little difficult to take seriously. Of course there are historical documents online for free, yet recent textbooks that intend to be read by students and educate them on a number of subjects usually come with a hefty price.

So you're correlating cost with overall credibility? Give me a break. There are multitudes of sources on the internet that are free which are just as credible.
#28
Quote by ethan_hanus
Yeah right, go read a history textbook dude, it's more like they brainwash kids to think that America is bad, capitalism is evil, and that more socialistic countries are better than America in every, way, shape, and form.

They hardly teach any kind of accurate history, and omit alot of information, usually taking things way out of context so the reader gets a false sense that America is bad.

If you think otherwise because you believe what you've been told then you are an idiot. Read a history textbook, then compare it to the actual history from the actual documents of the time, they usually contradict each other.

Really, anus? American text books are not anything close to saying anything near that about america. Especially ones that focus on American history, they portray every american decision as being perfect. Give me an example of a text book widely used that demonizes America, give me one credible source of it happening and being taught on a large scale and I'll shut my mouth.
#29
Historians tend to fall on the more liberal side of things.

Not sure what you're talking about.

I don't think I've ever heard of a "conservative" history writer.


Love the Low end
#30
Quote by Myfirstpubes
So you're correlating cost with overall credibility? Give me a break. There are multitudes of sources on the internet that are free which are just as credible.


Not necessarily. Peer review, authorship and cited sources are the important things. Whether it's an expensive book or something online is irrelevant.
#31
Quote by Zeelod
Historians tend to fall on the more liberal side of things.

Not sure what you're talking about.

I don't think I've ever heard of a "conservative" history writer.


Then you obviously haven't read a lot of history...
#34
Quote by Pagan-Pie
Then you obviously haven't read a lot of history...


I have in fact.

The thing is most historians are well educated people and people with higher education are generally more liberal in their views.

Generally.


Love the Low end
#35
The ones in England aren't that bad, also most of our textbooks were stuff like Stories of Rome by Livy so we were taught to take every thing with a pinch of salt.
#36
Quote by Pagan-Pie
Not necessarily. Peer review, authorship and cited sources are the important things. Whether it's an expensive book or something online is irrelevant.

My point exactly. Price and availability should be irrelevant to the credibility.
#37
Quote by Zeelod
I have in fact.

The thing is most historians are well educated people and people with higher education are generally more liberal in their views.

Generally.


It depends what you mean by liberal. If anything lately there has been a liberal reaction against left wing history; the historiography of the French Revolution springs to mind.

There are plenty of eminent right wing historians though; Robert Conquest is a pretty famous example.

EDIT: ^ Yeah, it's just hard to come by quality material for free without ripping off academics, which I don't want to do.
#38
Quote by ethan_hanus
Yeah right, go read a history textbook dude, it's more like they brainwash kids to think that America is bad, capitalism is evil, and that more socialistic countries are better than America in every, way, shape, and form.

They hardly teach any kind of accurate history, and omit alot of information, usually taking things way out of context so the reader gets a false sense that America is bad.

If you think otherwise because you believe what you've been told then you are an idiot. Read a history textbook, then compare it to the actual history from the actual documents of the time, they usually contradict each other.

Of course, dem libruls are always just twistin things to make people hate murica!
#39
Quote by Myfirstpubes
Give me a break.




P.S. don't worry this is a real picture of a real kitkat bar. I know this cuz I found it on the internet, and most things, not all, are real on the internet.
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Last edited by Carnivean at Aug 1, 2011,
#40
Yea, they are probably biased, but what isn't

Honestly, it doesn't really bother me that much.
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