Lies Across America

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Lies Across America: What Our Historic Markers and Monuments Get Wrong,
Author James Loewen
Country United States
Language English
Publisher New Press
Publication date
Pages 480
ISBN 0-684-87067-3
Preceded by Lies My Teacher Told Me

Lies Across America a 1999 book by James Loewen, and is a follow up sequel to his 1995 work Lies My Teacher Told Me. The book focuses on historical markers and museums across the United States.

The book starts on the West Coast and moves east, a deliberate break from the traditional history found in textbooks, which begin with the Pilgrims and move westward. Similarly, Loewen covers Hispanic rather than English discovery, and American Indian history.

Loewen's book voices two major complaints about historical markers in the United States. The first, and most major, deals with historical markers established in the Southern United States which attempt to white-wash the history of slavery and the period of Reconstruction. Many of these markers were established between 1890 and 1920, the nadir of American race relations. Most were placed by organizations with pro-Confederate agendas and reflect the racism of the early 20th century. While some markers have been altered in the last forty years as a result of civil rights progress, many have not—especially those extant at American Civil War battle sites and in the South.

Loewen's second major complaint deals with the treatment of Native Americans, who are often neglected and omitted in the telling of United States history. The author challenges and corrects many of the inaccurate and Eurocentric mistruths spread by story markers across America.

At the end of his book, Loewen makes suggestions for how those concerned about the misrepresentation of history can change markers and monuments to convey historical truth and accuracy.

The organizations running historical sites are faulted in Loewen's book according to Wilton Corkern.[1]

In the book, Loewen argues every historic site is "a tale of two eras": the one from when the event happened and the one from when the event was commemorated.[2]


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