Some right-wingers ignore facts as they rewrite U.S. history

Historians in the News

The right is rewriting history.

The most ballyhooed effort is under way in Texas , where conservatives have pushed the state school board to rewrite guidelines, downplaying Thomas Jefferson in one high school course, playing up such conservatives as Phyllis Schlafly and the Heritage Foundation and challenging the idea that the Founding Fathers wanted to separate church and state....

The Jamestown settlers? Socialists. Founding Father Alexander Hamilton ? Ill-informed professors made up all that bunk about him advocating a strong central government.

Theodore Roosevelt ? Another socialist. Franklin D. Roosevelt ? Not only did he not end the Great Depression, he also created it.

Joe McCarthy ? Liberals lied about him. He was a hero....

"We are adding balance," Texas school board member Don McLeroy said. "History has already been skewed. Academia is skewed too far to the left."...

"History in the popular world is always a political football," said Alan Brinkley , a historian at Columbia University . "The right is unusually mobilized at the moment."

"Part of the tide of history is that it's contested terrain," said Fritz Fischer , a historian at the University of Northern Colorado and the chairman of the National Council for History Education . "We should always be arguing and questioning what happened in the past."

It's not just historians who contest history, however. It's also politicians and pundits.

The left has done it.

Fischer cited the case of controversial former University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill , whose essay claiming that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were the fruit of illegal U.S. policies became a cause celebre. Fischer said Churchill "ignored a lot of evidence and made some up to promulgate a particular political belief."

Now, it's the right....
Read entire article at McClatchy Newspapers

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