HISTORICAL AMNESIA

David McCullough, the Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer, believes political correctness and bad history textbooks are a serious threat to the Republic:

“For a free, self-governing people, something more than a vague familiarity with history is essential if we are to hold onto and sustain our freedom. But I don’t think history should ever be made to seem like some musty, unpleasant pill to be swallowed solely for our own civic good.

“History, let us agree, can be an immense source of pleasure. For almost anyone with the normal human allotment of curiosity and an interest in people, it is a field day,” he said.

In an earlier meeting with reporters, Mr. McCullough said elementary, middle and high school students are bored by dreadful history textbooks that embrace multiculturalism and cultural equivalence in order to be politically correct.

“They are deadly,” he said of the history textbooks used at all levels. “It’s as if they were designed to kill anyone’s interest in history rather than encourage it. And if you were told you have to go home tonight and read this book for two hours, you would say in your heart of hearts, what did I do wrong today that I’m being so punished?”

Sadly, it’s hard to dispute this assessment.

FILED UNDER: Education
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.