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View Diary: "Stolen honor" - TRANSCRIPT (62 comments)

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  •  Don't assume young people know much about Vietnam (none)
    As James Loewen points out in his book, "Lies My Teacher Told Me" (an in-depth study on how history books teach an inaccurate, ideological, and boring American history), the Vietnam War is usually not taught extensively in American public schools. It gets as much time as the War of 1812.

    High school students never see the canonical photographs of Vietnam: the napalmed girl running down the street, the execution of the suspected Viet Cong sympathizer, a monk lighting himself on fire, the American helicopters evacuating our embassy.  All too controversial. So is learning about most recent events: parents with strong viewpoints or politics might be upset.

    Dr. Loewen also says that most of his college students never learned the terms "hawk" or "dove" in high school.  One year, four of them said that they thought the Vietnam War was fought between North and South Korea!

    The book's getting a little old (1995), but it's still an enlightening read.

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