People's History, Founding Myths, and the American Revolution


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  How do you know your text is telling the truth?

I have examined a wide assortment of recent and widely used textbooks at the elementary, middle school, and secondary levels. Many were featured at the annual convention for the National Council for the Social Studies in November, 2002. The rest are currently approved for use in California, which has among the strictest selection criteria in the nation.

Click on the title of a textbook, and you will see a page-by-page breakdown of the “founding myths” it perpetuates. If your text is not featured here, and you would like to see it critiqued, please contact me. If you send me a copy, I will critique it, post the results on this webpage, and return your book.

Textbooks displayed at the annual conference of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS)
Phoenix, AZ, November 22-24, 2002

United States History: Beginnings
Michael J. Berson et al.
Harcourt/Horizons, 2003
ISBN 0-15-321349-3
Elementary school

A History of US, Book 3: From Colonies to Nation
Joy Hakim
Oxford University Press, 2003
ISBN 0-19-515323-5
Elementary and middle school

American Republic to 1877
Joyce Appleby et al.
Glencoe McGraw-Hill, 2003
ISBN 0-07-826474-X
Middle school

American Nation: Beginnings through 1877
James West Davidson
Prentice Hall, 2003
ISBN 0-13-058848-2
Middle school

Call to Freedom
Sterling Stuckey and Linda Kerrigan Salvucci
Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2003
ISBN 0-03-064679-0
Middle school

Creating America: A History of the United States
Beginnings through Reconstruction
Jesus Garcia et al.
McDougal Littell, 2002
ISBN 0-618-16254-2
Middle school

The American Revolution
E. D. Hirsch, Jr.
Pearson Learning Group, 2002
ISBN 0-7690-5101-4
Core knowledge — ungraded

America’s History: Land of Liberty — Beginning to 1877
Vivian Bernstein
Steck-Vaughn, 1997
ISBN 0-8172-6334-9
Basic learning, middle and secondary school

The American Vision
Joyce Appleby et al.
Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, 2003
ISBN 0-02-664118-6
High school

A History of the United States
Daniel J. Boorstin and Brooks Mather Kelley
Prentice-Hall, 2002
ISBN 0-13-053624-5
High school

The Americans
Gerald A. Danzer et al.
McDougal Littell, 2003
ISBN 0-618-10878-5
High school

American Nation
Paul Boyer
Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2003
ISBN 0-03-065318-5
High school

Out of Many: A History of the American People
John Mack Faragher et al.
Prentice-Hall, 2003
ISBN 0-13-098692-5
High school advanced placement

America: Past and Present
Robert A. Divine et al.
Longman (Addison-Wesley), 2003
ISBN 0-321-09337-2
High school advanced placement

Textbooks approved for use in the State of California as of June 15, 2004

Early United States
Richard Boehm et al.
Harcourt Brace, 2000
ISBN 0-15-309788-4
Elementary school

A New Nation: Adventures in Time and Place
James Banks, et al.
McGraw-Hill, 2000
ISBN 0-02-148825-8
Elementary school

America Will Be
Beverly J. Armento et al.
Houghton Mifflin, 1999
ISBN 0-395-93064-2
Elementary school

American Journey: Building a Nation
Joyce Appleby et al.
Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, 2000
ISBN 0028218760
Middle school

A More Perfect Union
Beverly J. Armento, et al.
Houghton Mifflin, 1999
ISBN 0-395-93067-7
Middle school

Why We Remember: United States History, American Revolution to 1914
Herman J. Viola
Scott Foresman / Addison Wesley, 1999
ISBN 0-20-45846-2
Middle school

The American Nation: Independence through 1914
James West Davidson et al.
Prentice Hall, 2000 (California edition)
ISBN 0-13-433634-8
Middle school

Call to Freedom: Beginnings to 1914
Sterling Stuckey and Linda Kerrigan Salvucci
Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2000
ISBN 0-03-054042-9
Middle school

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