Thomas Gokey
A Supplement to the Texas US History Textbook
2010
Wikibook
As seen on Boing Boing.

This project is a protest to the Texas Board of Education's standards for US history and social studies textbooks. You can find the wikibook with a complete artist statement for the project here.

Basically the idea is to create our own supplemental text that offers a more responsible, fact-based history and treats aspects of US history that are very important but that are seldom discussed (such as the invention of corporate personhood, or GM's plan to dismantle public transportation which lead to a redesign of American cities around automobiles, etc).

The Texas Board of Education has created a version of US History that is demonstrably false. Their textbooks will teach that the US is a christian nation (removing Thomas Jefferson's explicit views on the separation of church and state, and they've even gone so far as saying they want to remove the "pro-Islamic bias" they perceive in other textbooks), promote a whitewashed version of capitalism (re-branded as "the free enterprise system"), cut figures like Anne Hutchinson, César Chávez and Thurgood Marshall while highlighting right wing figures (students are required to study Phyllis Schlafly, the Contract With America, the Heritage Foundation, the Moral Majority and the NRA). How extreme is their whitewashing of history? They tried to remove the word "slavery" from the textbook replacing it with phrase "the Atlantic triangular trade."

This supplement will be written by professional historians, amateur history buffs and high-school students themselves. Our supplement is designed to teach critical thinking whereas the Texas Board of Education wants to think for students instead of teaching them to think for themselves. The textbooks Texas orders ends up influencing other states as well since Texas (along with California) dominates the textbook market. We can subvert their attempt to whitewash our history because they are using older models for how textbooks work. We can create our own textbook on-line and distribute them as PDF's. We will produce a better product and release it free of charge. We can create a textbook that involves the students themselves in the messy process of actually doing historical research.

This project is a wiki and as such requires the participation of a large number of people. Please join in by writing a draft article on a topic you know about. And please spread the word to others. New to wikibooks? Find out how to start a new article here or how to edit a pre-existing article here.
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