A recent thread on the differences amongst history books led me to examine more deeply the variance of lessons in history throughout the history of America. I read first , History in the Making by Kyle Ward From the cover, "What you learned in school about American history is not what your parents or grandparents learned. In this fascinating and illuminating new look at how and why the past itself changes over time...compares how two hundred years of history textbooks have looked at the same historical events in completely different way...Kyle Ward cleverly juxtaposes short excerpts sample from dozen of textbooks -- including those used in the earliest years of the American nation and across the intervening centuries, right up to the present day. This unique approach draws us back into familiar stories from new and unfamiliar perspective, and introduces a completely new way of thinking about he past." I enjoyed not only revisiting American history, and was fascinated at the social commentary that one perceives by reading the "standard" set forth in academics over the years.
A great companion, History Lessons How Textbooks from Around the World Portray U.S. History, also by Ward and fellow historian Dana Lindaman, offers the same format; however, the perspective is that of other nations, over time regarding the history of America. Imagine reading about World Wars from the state standard of Germany -- very intriguing. You'll find different approaches and styles of writing and some interesting ideas that are quite different from the American perspective. In addition, you'll note the differing theories behind educational presentation, necessities, as well as, the influence of a variety of Motherlands on their colonies.
Truly, a social study of history just as much as a factual one, reading both books will not only bring enjoyment for history lovers, but would also serve as excellent companions to any high school American history study. It will also give perspective on the dumbing down of textbooks over time as you explore the eloquent speech of 19th century America and the simplified versions of modern textbooks.
As an added thought and user of TOG, I can joyfully and confidently reassure you, TOG is doing an excellent job of painting a solid worldview of American history. These books will surely lend themselves nicely to your TOG studies and will affirm your decision to use a literary, versus textbook, approach to history. Some of the textbook selections are as dry as the Sahara; nonetheless, the overall demonstration of history through the years was a great read and kept me awake far too late into the night.
Child, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend
- I love the Lord as much as a broken person can; love and loved by my husband; blessed by 5 amazing little people who have helped me to learn much about me; grateful to serve even more as God gives them to me; blessed every day to be a home school teacher; college student; I hope to change the world by loving as many people as possible, because there is nothing greater than loving another.