ERIC Number: ED161816
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978
Reference Count: 0
How the Cold War is Taught: Six American History Textbooks Examined.
Herz, Martin F.
This booklet is a comparative analysis of how six high school history textbooks present events and issues related to the Cold War. The texts are "History of a Free People" (Macmillan, 1973), "Rise of the American Nation" (Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1977), "The American Experience" (Addison-Wesley, 1975), "A New History of the United States--An Inquiry Approach" (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1975), "The People Make a Nation" (Allyn and Bacon, 1975), and "Discovering American History" (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1974). Chapter I reviews reasons for teaching about the Cold War, problems of bias, teaching approaches, and the process of selection and analysis of the six textbooks. Chapter II, which comprises the body of the study, is a non-critical comparative analysis of the texts' presentation of 16 topics related to the Cold War. Included among the topics are origin and meaning of the Cold War, Yalta agreements and their aftermath, U.S. policy of containment, the Truman Doctrine, the United Nations and the Cold War, the Korean War, McCarthy and anti-Communism, Castro's rise to power, Bay of Pigs, Cuban Missile Crisis, and U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Chapter IlI presents concluding observations about the texts' accuracy, scope, balance, fairness, and teaching approaches. Conclusions are that inaccuracy is not a major problem and that none of the texts give an overly favorable view of U.S. foreign policy. Also, use of the inquiry approach seems to be ill-suited to teaching the complicated chain of events which comprise the Cold War. (AV)
Descriptors: Comparative Analysis, Foreign Policy, History, History Instruction, International Relations, Secondary Education, Social Studies, Teaching Methods, Textbook Content, Textbook Evaluation, World Problems
Ernest W. Lefever, Director, Ethics and Public Policy Center, 1211 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036 ($3.00 paper copy, 10 or more--30% discount)
Publication Type: Books
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Georgetown Univ., Washington, DC. Ethics and Public Policy Center.
Identifiers: Cold War