Oliver Stone: Historically challenged students = unqualified citizensSubmitted by jay0718 on Fri, 11/02/2012 - 08:55
The Problem With America's History Books
Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznik
November 1, 2012
"...Historically-challenged students turn into historically-challenged adults who make for unqualified citizens. Our republican system requires a literate, educated, and knowledgeable public. No wonder Santayana's famous comment that "he who forgets the past is condemned to repeat it" has been borne out repeatedly over the past century and a quarter of U.S. history.
In terms of history education, we face two basic problems. First, as the Nation's Report Card indicates, students know very little history. Second, much of what they do learn is extremely partial or flat out wrong. Take, for example, the discussion of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in one popular high school text--The American Past by Daniel Conlin--which happens to be used in Oliver's daughter's highly rated Los Angeles private high school.
In the few brief paragraphs devoted to the atomic bombings, which the Newseum's 1999 panel of experts declared the most important news event of the 20th century, Conlin manages to twice repeat the falsehood that the bombs were used to avoid one million U.S. casualties in an invasion, that Japanese fanaticism was "impossible to overstate," and that the bombs ended the war..."