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Edited History?





zanzou
I know that a lot of countries give edited versions of their own history-- Japan & China, for two.

But I've recently heard that the same is in the US-- that Americans aren't taught about the Vietnam War or the Korean War, to the point of purposefully excluding it.

Is that what people have noticed when they've been in school? Or has anything else come to light since leaving it that you think public education (/private, whatever it is up through high school) should have taught you?

Super curious, let me know.
Nitro15
There is definitely a lot that isn't taught in schools (mainly because it'd be near impossible to fit the entire history of the US into a book). Though it seems like the majority of what isn't taught is just because it was a very tragic time for us, such as you said about the wars.
Obake
Nitro15 wrote:
There is definitely a lot that isn't taught in schools (mainly because it'd be near impossible to fit the entire history of the US into a book). Though it seems like the majority of what isn't taught is just because it was a very tragic time for us, such as you said about the wars.


...not meaning to sound accusatory or anything, and I may be misunderstanding your post, but I'm not sure that "it was a very tragic time" is really a good enough excuse for omitting events that shaped the world to come--not only the US--from what's taught in the classroom. Can you imagine, in thirty or fifty years' time, the repercussions of September 11 not being taught in schools for that reason? Or would that be different, because it was something that happened to the US in the US, and not something that could be easily distanced?

(Just to be clear, I'm not trying to say that the US is somehow unique and terrible for doing this. I'm aware that countries such as China and Japan have done the edit thing as well, and I know that Australia does it as well, particularly with regard to the treatment of Aboriginal people by Australians of European descent. I am also just a little suspicious of the golden sheen forever coming off our romantic stories of the ANZAC diggers in World Wars 1 and 2.)

That said, you are right that the history of any country is too large and complicated to be condensed into the rough hitchhiker's guide you wind up getting in school. There is a debate currently going on in Australia (the main propogators being the Prime Minister John Howard and The Australian newspaper) over how history should be taught in schools. PM & Co. believe that it should be taught as a narrative, instead of being taught as it is currently, viewing particular periods and events through "frames" of perspective.

It's an interesting debate, and I can see the point to both sides. The worry, of course, is partly that students are being taught history in such a fragmented way that it becomes incomprehensible. A narrative of Australian history would reintroduce a comprehensible flow to the curriculum, making it more easily undertandable and giving students a greater sense of the chronology of it. There is a worry that students are being taught the perspectives more than they are being taught the facts, and a narrative of history would amend that. According to PM & Co.

But it also seems that it's partly a conservative backlash against the particular "frames" that the current syllabus uses to teach history, in particular, feminist, Marxist, and postmodern perspectives. Having been taught through these perspectives, I personally can say that I didn't have any problem with them--in fact that I would probably have been less interested in studying history without them--and I don't believe that they disregard the facts of history in favour of developing those perspectives. In fact, this method of teaching tends to focus on giving greater emphasis to facts downplayed in the previous, European-focused narrative approach.

I can see the benefits of a narrative approach. For a lot of students, it would make the study of history easier, give a firmer chronological understanding of events, and may even seem more interesting, what with all the building suspense and climaxes and cliffhangers that narratives tend to have. But as someone who writes narratives a lot, who learned under the other mode of teaching history, and who is well aware of the conservativism of the major proponents of change in this case, I'm wary of the fact that a narrative of history could only ever tell one story, and I want to know who gets to tell it and how before I'll be at all comfortable with the idea.

So there you go. Editing history isn't just about what gets left in and what gets left out--it's about how it gets to be told, too.
HoboPelican
Nitro15 wrote:
There is definitely a lot that isn't taught in schools (mainly because it'd be near impossible to fit the entire history of the US into a book). Though it seems like the majority of what isn't taught is just because it was a very tragic time for us, such as you said about the wars.


Since Ive been out of school for awhile, could you expand on what they aren't teaching in US schools? What tragic time? A little info would be interesting.
snowboardalliance
We learn more and more detail about history as we get older, at least in my district. Now I'm in AP U.S. History and we study a textbook and narrative versions from Howard Zinn and other authors. It's interesting to see both views, I mean I'm not really interested in history, but it's better than history classes I've had before.
bartdou
zanzou wrote:
I know that a lot of countries give edited versions of their own history-- Japan & China, for two.

I have to say that you know little about history or the current world conditions.
I'm seriously asking you to tell me the so-called edited version of Chinese histotry. Suppose that why should a country give its edited history? Just like a man, if he have commit guilt before he will normally try to hide that, because all people including him think that that was ashamed. However if a man never did anything that not innormal, tell me, is it necessary for him to edit his past to show to all people? Suppose that man is you? will you?
The empire of Japan has done what in the ww2 is know by every people who has the littlest knowledge of history, how many innocent people were killed brutally by it? how did it do bacterial experiments using a living man? how did they rape the young girls in metamorphic ways? perhaps you don't know, because most of you don't need to know, that has nothing to do with you. But if you know a little about them, you would wonder why such a human race exist in the world? What it has done is a thousand times brutaler than the German has did at that time.
BUt at last it was defeated, it doesn't want other people know what it had done, so it edit its history.

Edited By HoboPelican- I've removed the following images due to their extreme gruesomeness. It is inappropriate on this board to display those without a warning. For those who want to see them, I've left the URLs intact.

woman rapped and then killed by japanese
http://www.hz0752.com/UpFile/0406/200462810145659348.jpg
killing competation
http://www.ce.cn/xwzx/gnsz/gdxw/200607/07/W020060707553099913932.JPG

http://photocdn.sohu.com/20060308/Img242190779.jpg
experiment with living body
http://www.tynews.com.cn/images/2005-09/02/rb0902-11f0C.JPG
http://www.tynews.com.cn/images/2005-09/02/rb0902-11f0J.JPG
I always wonder, if you invade a country, ok,you invade, if you want to kill their people, ok, you kill,because that is war, it's like that. But why do you do that so inhumanely?
if you have seen the japanese sexy films, you will know what they actually are. they have always behave like animals but not human.

So they edit their history while the Germany admit they were wrong in the WW2, if you still do not believe what i say about japan, you can search on the net, read the book A Global History written by Ameracan.

I am just talk what it is/was, without personal comment.
We should all know a real history, but not edited by some goverment.[/url]
Jazradem
The majority of schools teach creationism as the single theory of how life appeared. So yes, I suspect they edit a lot of history.
akshar
Nothing wrong if a nation hides some of dark side of their history and teach its forthcoming generations only the good part of history.
HOwver I must say that I live in country where the government is publishing books that tell us how bad our country was in past and nothing else

Thats India
HoboPelican
akshar wrote:
Nothing wrong if a nation hides some of dark side of their history and teach its forthcoming generations only the good part of history.


I have to strongly disagree with that concept. People have a need to know the sort of things their country has done, good and bad. It gives perspective. It shows you the sort of atrocities that YOUR people are capable of. Otherwise, it is too easy to say "oh, that could never happen here." And please understand, I am using "you" and "your" to apply to every country, not just India.
ThornsOfSorrow
Most U.S. History textbooks make it seem as if we Americans were always right in the choices that we made, even if we clearly weren't. I've never learned much about the Vietnam war or the Korean war, but I've been lucky in that my history teachers were careful to teach us about both sides of any war, even if the book omits certain parts. They believe that U.S. students should have an accurate knowledge of American history, whether we were right or wrong in our actions.

So yes, what's in our textbooks is edited to give students a sense of patriotism by making America seem better than it really is, but our teachers (or at least mine) are happy to tell us whatever we want to know, good or bad.
HoboPelican
ThornsOfSorrow wrote:
....
So yes, what's in our textbooks is edited to give students a sense of patriotism by making America seem better than it really is, but our teachers (or at least mine) are happy to tell us whatever we want to know, good or bad.


I'm glad to hear that your teachers are trying to give a balanced view to you. It's is unfortunate that the textbooks aren't as honest. I bet not all teachers take the time to do what your's do.

Curious though, did you not learn about Nam and Korea because it wasnt a period you've covered yet, or did they just ignore it?
ThornsOfSorrow
I haven't had a history class in over a year, so I didn't learn about Nam and Korea because they were ignored. My teachers did mention them a few times, but they didn't have time to teach us anything about them since neither war was part of the curriculum. You're right about not all teachers being like mine though; I know a lot of Americans who have a very skewed view on U.S. history because of the way they were taught.
Vrythramax
ThornsOfSorrow wrote:
Most U.S. History textbooks make it seem as if we Americans were always right in the choices that we made, even if we clearly weren't. I've never learned much about the Vietnam war or the Korean war, but I've been lucky in that my history teachers were careful to teach us about both sides of any war, even if the book omits certain parts. They believe that U.S. students should have an accurate knowledge of American history, whether we were right or wrong in our actions.

So yes, what's in our textbooks is edited to give students a sense of patriotism by making America seem better than it really is, but our teachers (or at least mine) are happy to tell us whatever we want to know, good or bad.


The victors, or more powerful, tend to write the history that is taught to the young. In the named cases the US has been more powerful....even if not winning the war outright.

Don't believe everything you read sweetie.
NewGuyinTown
I don't even care about history... I attended an American high school a year ago. OUr textbooks took a neutral stand on many issues.

How can we not know about Vietnam? It was a complete failure for the US, and I am well aware that they were treated the civilians cruelly such as raping them, drop naplam bomb or whatever because they are paranoid that an innocent little girl will bomb their ass. Killing them is already bad enough. Torturing them is unforgivable and unreasonable.

If that's the reason why you suspect US did not teach Vietnam, it's a No at my high school. And I wasn't doing any AP History.

We are aware that US used to hate Communism and prevent countries falling into the hands of Communism. As result: Our military occupations at the Vietnam and Korean.

I learned that no one is going to remedify the Darfur Crisis that is going on. I don't keep up with the news, so I don't know what the heck is going on there.
HoboPelican
NewGuyinTown wrote:
...
How can we not know about Vietnam? It was a complete failure for the US, and I am well aware that they were treated the civilians cruelly such as raping them, drop naplam bomb or whatever because they are paranoid that an innocent little girl will bomb their ***. Killing them is already bad enough. Torturing them is unforgivable and unreasonable.
....


Just as a point of fact...kids were used to deliver bombs in civilian areas where GIs were off duty. It wasn't paranoia to expect it, it was survival. And, yes, the US and the South did terrible things to captives....as did the North and their advisers. It was an ugly conflict bringing out some the worst in mankind on both sides. Not defending anyone, just giving some perspective.
godam64
changes in history is totally a normal thing.
history made by the ruler or the winner of the conlict.
the loosers only can create history to their own society.
history is ot 100% true. Wink
Davidgr1200
When I went to school in the UK (during the 1960s) History finished with the industrial revolution. The twentieth century was never covered (at least not for 16-year olds or younger).
zanzou
bartdou wrote:
zanzou wrote:
I know that a lot of countries give edited versions of their own history-- Japan & China, for two.

I have to say that you know little about history or the current world conditions.
I'm seriously asking you to tell me the so-called edited version of Chinese histotry. Suppose that why should a country give its edited history? Just like a man, if he have commit guilt before he will normally try to hide that, because all people including him think that that was ashamed. However if a man never did anything that not innormal, tell me, is it necessary for him to edit his past to show to all people? Suppose that man is you? will you?


I'm not entirely sure what you're trying to say here-- are you asking how the Chinese edit their history? Because I would think that fairly obvious, since the Chinese are even editing their PRESENT. (Ie, search engines that have agreed to block certain content, and other ways the internet is censored..)

And Japan-- last I heard-- didn't talk about the events in Nanking in their history textbooks, and this caused a huge uproar....

I'm not too clear, but are you saying that, since this was a bag time for those countries, that they shouldn't talk about it? I'm really not sure the point you're trying to make. :/
zanzou
NewGuyinTown wrote:


How can we not know about Vietnam? It was a complete failure for the US, and I am well aware that they were treated the civilians cruelly such as raping them, drop naplam bomb or whatever because they are paranoid that an innocent little girl will bomb their |censored|. Killing them is already bad enough. Torturing them is unforgivable and unreasonable.

If that's the reason why you suspect US did not teach Vietnam, it's a No at my high school. And I wasn't doing any AP History.


This post was actually inspired by a girl I'm friends with telling me she had never heard about the Vietnam War until she in her mid teens... and even then, she wasn't taught it-- it was brought up in conversation. :/

It's so weird that such important parts of history are unknown; when I took grade 10 history, there were people in my class who didn't know what the holocaust was. D:;;; It makes me wonder about what our society talks about-- and what it doesn't.
zanzou
godam64 wrote:
changes in history is totally a normal thing.
history made by the ruler or the winner of the conlict.
the loosers only can create history to their own society.
history is ot 100% true. :wink:


:/ Normal doesn't mean good-- in today's world, just because you're not the victor in a situation doesn't mean that your side shouldn't be/won't be told. I'm really glad that news reporters cover wars so much, because it prevents governments from waging them in the ways of the past.
Aless
Changing facts in history is just wrong (assuming we're talking about a political entity controlling what the public learns). However, altering historical interpretation can be quite healthy. We think much differently now about certain events than people did last century. It's definitely beneficial.

That said, I think all censorship is wrong and nothing factual should be restricted or altered. People deserve to know the truth (*glares at North Korea, China, Turkey, et. al.*)
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