What did you learn in school today, dear little boy of mine?
I learned our government must be strong.
It’s always right and never wrong. . . .
That’s what I learned in school.
—Song by Tom Paxton, 1963
Some of you will find it interesting to know that school history books present sugarcoated version not only about Columbus, also about all historical events. How history books shape our view of government has a serious blind-spot:
Just as the story of Columbus-the-wise has as its flip side the archetype of the superstitious unruly crew, so the archetype of a wise and good government implies that the correct role for us citizens is to follow its leadership.
It seems that authors of school history books don’t think dissent as part of patriotism and citizenship. Let us know what Zinn thinks about what the meaning of patriotism is.
Reading chapter 8 of another great book Lies MY Teacher Told Me: Everthing Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen can help us form a critical understanding of government.
You will find the chapter here:
You may also collect the book from WSU library to read it in full.
Finally, listen what Zinn says about governments:
Also, to know more from Zinn about how a government can be unpatriotic, you may watch this ( just over 1 hr but worth reading an entire book!) :