An Antidote to Leftist History Textbooks

Paul wrote earlier this week here and here about the case of an AP history textbook, By the People: A History of the United States, whose leftist bias is so egregious that you’d be better off having your kid not take AP history at all.  That textbook is not, sadly, a rare example of leftist bias in primary school textbooks.

Is there any remedy available? We’re very happy to report that there is. Next month our friends at Encounter Books will publish Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story by Wilfred M. McClay, who is the G. T. and Libby Blankenship Chair in the History of Liberty at the University of Oklahoma, and the Director of the Center for the History of Liberty.

Land of Hope is intended as a textbook, though it a general reader will enjoy it just as much as a student. There is no one I would trust more than Bill (as his friends know him) to write a sensible narrative history of America. As you can tell from the main title (“Hope” and “Great”), this account does not assume that the mistakes and shortcomings of America define the whole of America, as does every leftist who has drunk deeply of sour, third rate Zinnfandel.

The closing sentences of the Introduction give you Bill’s sensibility:

One of the worst sins of the present—not just ours but any present—is its tendency to condescend toward the past, which is much easier to do when one doesn’t trouble to know the full context of that past or to try to grasp the nature of its challenges as they presented themselves at the time. This small book is an effort to counteract that condescension and remind us of how remarkable were the achievements of those who came before us, how much we are indebted to them.

There’s just one mistake in this passage, typical of Bill’s modesty: It is not a “small” book, either in size (it’s just over 500 pages) or in its capaciousness about the subject matter.

Suggestion: urge your high school history teachers and your school district to adopt this book, and if you have a child in history—and especially AP history—get a copy of this book and have your kid read this alongside whatever leftist slop is being thrown at them by their public school.  And everyone else should support this enterprise by buying a copy.

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