“The Left and the Distortion of History”, by John L. Hancock at The American Thinker

In the fall of 1991, the relatively small and quiet university of Alfred University in New York State was engrossed in controversy. Indignant professors led students in protests, heated debates raged throughout the divided campus, editorials filled t….

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Filed under Culture Wars, Education, General Interest, History, Politics

3 responses to ““The Left and the Distortion of History”, by John L. Hancock at The American Thinker

  1. I am an Historian. I have a Masters in the field, the equivalent of another Masters in post-graduate work, and I taught Advanced Placement U.S. History and Government in the public schools for 17 yeas. Every word of this is true. I designed, wrote and initiated the APUSH class at my high school. I reviewed every U.S. History textbook I could get my hands on andI could find none that weren’t revisionist leftist claptrap. What I finally ended up doing was to order 3 books each for the students—each a collection of original source materials and essays from various time periods, and about a dozen advanced books as references for me as I prepared my lecture notes for the course, including Zinn’s Socialist tome and such books as “Lies My Teacher Told Me”, which points out the innacuracies of common U.S. History texts. AP U.S. History is meant to be challenging, and in fact is equivalent to about a sophomore/junior-level college undergraduate History course. It is an elective. The students are self-selecting, but most schools require a certain base GPA to get into it, and “A”s in both prior Social Studies courses and in English because the class is so lecture, reading and essay intensive. The ETS writes the final exam, not the teachers. Students have to pay $82 to take the half-day exam, most of which is short-answer and essay. If they score 3 or higher out of 5 they earn college credit for the course. About a quarter million high school/prep school students all over the world take the test on the same day every year. The last year I taught it, 51% earned college credit. I had 27 students, all but 2 got college credit and 9 “aced” it with a perfect “5”. My students learned real U.S. History, not the revisionist crap. My wife, a History PhD, tells me that in her last graduate classes revisionist History was the norm, and the professors didn’t even apologize for it, because tthe lies they told were in pursuit of a “greater good”.

    • Kinnison, My sons took AP classes in high school, so I’m familiar with them. For decades I’ve moved toward seeking original source material and become an avid reader of the letters and papers vs historians’ tomes to broaden my understanding of historical figures. Even original source material can become a landmine strewn field in the hands of revisionist historians, who ruthlessly scavenge through, seeking that one obscure reference, which they can parse to become the pièce de résistance to sell their partisan/politicized viewpoint of that historical figure or event. The founding fathers myth-makers, George Washington’s cherry tree being the morality tale exception that comes to mind, take historical cherry-picking to extremes, invariably seeking to impugn the character of the founding fathers as those despicable racist, misogynistic, European white males mentioned in this article. Something more disturbing to me, which reached new heights in the 1970s, was the ruthless promotion of women’s studies programs, harkening a new zeal for creating “herstory” to replace “history”. The entire history of civilization came under revision to fit the feminist agenda.

  2. JK

    Ask a favor Kinnison? – Incidentally LB, Thanks for this post!

    Back in January 2012 found myself giving [what I thought prior to be a straightforward timeline of events, figuring some comments but no questions] a “presentation” to the mostly second year students in one of my state’s lesser known (“lesser” in the sense, no athletics – sorta anyway, maybe chess) four-year colleges.

    Apologies for that convoluted sentence construction but I’m rushed.

    I made what in hindsight I know to be a rookie mistake. Unthinkingly I observed following a very well thought-out comment, “Typical Political Correctness.”

    Then things went – well, for lack of a better term – south. However upon reflection I’ve found myself wondering when exactly (or nearabouts) this whole concept of what I find myself ‘shorthanding PeeCee’ began?

    Ruminating on it in solitude I’d settled on “about” mid-90s but then, by pure happenstance, a now deceased former high school educator brought to my attention a book, 1987’s Cultural Literacy. Which tome tends me toward thinking the genesis of “PeeCee” (as is ‘generally accepted’ now has its taproot further back):

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._D._Hirsch,_Jr.#From_Composition_to_Cultural_Literacy

    Care to share any thoughts? (Perhaps somewhere on the timeline post Army-McCarthy Hearings?)

    I’d appreciate.

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