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"Lies My Teacher Told Me"
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Marcelo is reading a book called "Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong". It talks about how American history is whitewashed in order to make us look like good guys. The book really is fascinating, I had no idea about a lot of it.

One thing that's surprising, though, is how history as taught in schools plays up the accomplishments of certain people (the founding fathers, etc) and totally plays down the accomplishments of others.

One of the people it talks about in the first chapter is Helen Keller. When I was a kid, I loved reading biographies. I discovered the biography section of the children's library and read through most of it. (It was hidden in the back corner because it wasn't very popular.) There were 3 people I really admired and read every book about them that I could find: Helen Keller, Harriet Tubman, and Amelia Earhart.

Of course I learned about Helen Keller and how she learned to communicate. And that she toured the world teaching. But I never learned the much more interesting things that she did.

From Wikipedia:
"She was a suffragist, a pacifist, a Wilson opposer, a radical Socialist, and a birth control supporter."

"In 1920, she helped to found the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)."

"Keller was a member of the Socialist Party and actively campaigned and wrote in support of the working classes from 1909 to 1921. She supported Socialist Party candidate Eugene V. Debs in each of his campaigns for the presidency.

Keller and her friend Mark Twain were both considered radicals in the socio-political context present in the United States at the beginning of the 20th century, and as a consequence, their political views have been forgotten or glossed over in popular perception."

More interesting than the popular perception of her as the poor little blind and deaf girl that rose to fame, isn't it?

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