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History As Teacher Never Told Me...


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If there is a link or URL to materials and/or books, please post it.


Tired of the same oatmeal shit sammiches served up cold and stiff in school for History?


There are multitudes of better thoughts and researched materials available to build in gaps and holes in knowledge.


We (uS) gave the Russsians the Bomb and materials for it:

"From Major Jordan's Diaries" How the uS provided Stalin with War material at expense of Allied Armies, how Roosevelt gave the Rooskies the Bomb.

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A Peoples History of the United States: 1492-Present


A lot of people gripe about this book because they say it is "revisionist history". Translation: We don't like it because it shows an ugly part of our history and we'd rather people not know about it. On the contrary, I think it gives one a balanced view of history instead of a glorified view which tends to cause an over abundance of pride in America and which has the tendency to cause an almost elitist attitude.


Our children know that violence and stealing of land hasn't just taken place on the part of the white man; we certainly don't want them to feel guilty about being white, but children, teens, and adults need balance and having only a one-sided view (whether good or bad) is, IMO, not healthy at all.

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This was the main text used for the world-history course I took on the undergraduate level several years ago.


World in the Twentieth Century by Daniel Brower, 1999.


It says they're temporarily out of stock. It's not a look-inside book so I'll tell a bit about it. The most recent date I see right off in the table of contents is 1992. It's written as a text. Has maps, also a global time chart. Recommended reading lists at end of chapters. Detailed table of contents. Black and white photos from places like "National Archives" for New War in Asia, 1950 (p. 194), and Reuters/Bettmann Newsphotos for Anti-Rushdi Demonstration, Bangladesh, 1989 (Spotlight: Salman Rushdie, p. 257). Re "Spotlight." The book has "Spotlights" throughout. These are like sidebars that can take up an entire page or more to zero in on an extra topic of the time period the author wishes to cover.


I remember it as having an anti-American approach, though it is printed in the United States.

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Part of this is a repost from the Homeschooling thread because I think it should be here, too.


About the Russian kids and US history: Is anyone else aware of the secret Russian invasion that included US forces in the early 1900s? I first heard of this about 25 years ago. I still have trouble finding this story in libraries or in schools.


Just now I came across something in the book Taph mentions "Lies My Teacher Told Me," by James W Loewen, page 23. Loewen says Woodrow Wilson was "sending secret monetary aid to the "White" side of the Russian civil war."


Homepage of James W. Loewen contains much information, books, etc.


Also by Loewen (not on website):

  • Mississippi Conflict and Change
  • Truth About Columbus This book did not show up on the regular Amazon search engine but it showed up on Amazon.ca which is Amazon Canada. Hopefully Americans can access the site. If you're interested in buying the book you would have to look into the details of dealing with Canadian currency. Last I heard Canadian merchants will change American currency but I have no idea how that is done over the internet. I got these two titles off the back cover of Lies My Teacher Told Me.

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50 Facts You Are Not Supposed Know, Part #1 and #2.


Everything You Know Is Wrong


All three volumes edited by Russ Kick, published through Disinformation.


Not all facts and stories are historical but they are decent reads. I learned from the first 50 facts book that a "broken arrow" was dropped on rural North Carolina in the early 1960's.

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I just remember that most of the history I learned was not in school, but reading I did on my own. Even pointed out things wrong to teachers, though they tended to just brush me aside, assuming I was just a dumb 8th grader.


I realize just now why I failed to succeed in math.....I never did any outside school studying. Reading literature and science and history I loved.....but I never took the time to read mathematics. HUH, who would have thunk it. Might need to go find me some books on mathematics, and do some catch up.

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White Gold by Giles Milton


Amazon user review


(5 Stars)

A mere few centuries ago, both Islam and Christianity, which proclaimed themselves models of righteousness and compassion, were involved in the African slave trade, destroying the lives of millions. The history of the slaves and the slavers has been told many ways since then. Less well known is another form of slavery, the capture of about a million Europeans and Americans by Islamic slave traders, ending only in 1816. The history of this other trade forms the basis for the particulars in _White Gold: The Extraordinary Story of Thomas Pellow and North Africa's One Million European Slaves_ (Hodder and Stoughton) by Giles Milton. Milton seems to have done prodigious research (as he did for his previous bestseller, _Nathaniel's Nutmeg_), and has done his best to bridge the many gaps in Pellow's own story, producing a narrative that is often exciting and always informative.


Pellow, born in 1704 and raised in the Cornish fishing village of Penryn, wanted to run away to sea, despite the constant threat of ships being taken by the Barbary pirates. He was eleven years old when his uncle's ship was captured, and he became property of the sultan, the Moulay Ismail; the author could not have asked for a more repulsive or fearsome villain. His 25,000 white slaves were given to the enormous project of making a palace that extended for miles, packing wet lime and earth to make the enormous walls and covering it in marble and mosaics. He could not abide disobedience, even when it was merely in his imagination, and slaves and courtiers were often tortured or beheaded by his whimsy, even at his own hands. Readers should prepare for extreme unpleasantness in the descriptions of the horrors of the cells or the tortures such as the bastinado, by which a slave would be suspended upside down and the soles of his feet beaten until they were raw. Pellow converted under torture to Islam, which helped change his fortune, but he was a captive for twenty-three years, constantly wishing he were back home. He became guardian of the harem, leader of soldiers in military campaigns, and even a slave hunter, before his escape attempts finally succeeded.


Pellow was able to write the obligatory first-person account of his trials under the Turk, from which, understandably, Milton has drawn frequently. He did not live to see any end to the threat of enslavement by the fanatical Muslims which took another century to come. Strangely, Sir Edward Pellew, a distant relative, was in charge of the fleet that arrived in Algiers in 1816, bombarding the city, liberating the slaves, and permanently ending the European slave trade. Milton describes how inflamed the British press and Parliament became at the thought of their own citizens in chains, but also explains how little care they showed for black slaves shipped out of Guinea for their own use. There is little specific to compare here with our own current difficulties with the region, except that horrors, misunderstandings, and religious fanaticism seem to be an unending part of this history. _White Gold_ is, however, a riveting story of eventual triumph over long odds, and enormously entertaining.


Amazon UK review


Writer and journalist Giles Milton specializes in the history of travel and exploration. His latest literary adventure, White Gold, is the story of Thomas Pellow, a Cornish cabin boy who was captured at sea by a group of fanatical Islamic slave traders—the Barbary corsairs, taken in chains to the great slave markets of Algiers, Tunis and Salè in Morocco and sold to the highest bidder. Pellow’s purchaser happened to be the tyrannical sultan of Morroco, Moulay Ismail, a man committed to building a vast imperial pleasure palace of unsurpassable splendour built entirely by Christian slave labour. After enduring long periods of torture Pellow converted to Islam and became the personal slave of the sultan for over two decades—including a stint as a soldier in the sultan’s army—before finally making a dramatic escape and return to Cornwall. The account is supported by the unpublished letters and manuscripts of slaves and the various ambassadors sent to free them. This is an excellently written account of the history of the white slave trade. Pellow’s story is an extraordinary one but the real interest lies in the picture Milton builds of life in the slave pens and especially of daily life at the court of the spectacularly barbaric Moulay Ismail. --Larry Brown --

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