Have you ever wondered what American schools teach about 9/11? Here is a partial answer. I’ve reviewed five of the most popular American history textbooks for high school. They are:
- American History, 2018 edition, HMH Social Studies (no author listed, but Colon is the first name on the “Educational Advisory Panel)
- United States History and Geography, 2018 edition, McGraw Hill (by Appleby, Brinkley, Broussard, McPherson, and Ritchie)
- United States History, 2016 edition, Pearson (Lapsansky-Warner, Levy, Roberts, and Taylor)
Plus these two intended for advanced placement American history classes:
- America’s History, Ninth Edition, Bedford St Martin’s (by Edwards, Hinderaker, Self, and Henretta)
- The Unfinished Nation, Ninth Edition, McGraw Hill (by Brinkley, Huebner, and Giggie)
The titles are so similar as to be in some cases indistinguishable that it will be better if I refer to them by the bolded names: Colon, Appleby, Warner, Edwards, Brinkley, or collectively as CA-WEB. The names I’m using shouldn’t necessarily be taken as representing the actual authors. All five books are vastly collaborative products assembled by teams of writers and editors under the supervision of other more senior editors, and homogenized by still more senior editors. This isn’t history through the eyes of a latter-day Herodotus or Thucydides, or a Francis Parkman or a Samuel Eliot Morison, or even for that matter a Howard Zinn. History books like that have a definite personality and you get to know the author. The most you can say about CA-WEB is that you get to know the corporate slant.
And if you are of a certain age, you would find these books don’t look much like history books of yore. Colon, which weighs 6.6 pounds (shipping weigh per Amazon) could be used to stop a bullet. And given the conditions surrounding some of our schools, perhaps it has. All of these books are elaborately illustrated and printed in kaleidoscopic colors. They are generally available, of course, online for the COVID confined generation.
What of 9/11?