Revisionist vs. Classical History: The Moon Landing
The study of history can take two approaches: classical or revisionist. A classical approach is traditional, has been the norm, and tends to be more politically correct. A Revisionist approach is non-traditional, there is no political persuasion, and final judgment is for the reader (Thompson 1). The first moon landing through the Apollo program has been one the most highlighted historical events in American History. History textbooks portray this event through a classical approach. Why not? It certainly would not be politically correct to teach young students that the moon landing may have not happened. If history books are traditionally written in a classical approach you can imagine what was said about the first moon landing, what would be said if they took a Revisionist approach?
James Loewen was “A sociologist who spent two years at the Smithsonian surveying twelve leading high school textbooks of American history only to find an embarrassing blend of bland optimism, blind nationalism, and plain misinformation, weighing in at an average of 888 pages and almost five pounds” (Cheney). Loewen explains his theory in his essay, “From Lies my teacher told me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong.” He starts his essay by stating, “High school students hate history” (par. 1). History is the least irrelevant subject to most high school students. According to Loewen, “Most authors of history textbooks don’t even try for melodrama. Instead, they write in a tone that is heard aloud might be described as “mumbling lecturer.” No wonder students lose interest” (par. 9).
Everything that I know about history, at least remember; came from a textbook. The problem is textbooks do not always tell the truth. I would not even call it a lie, just a story with missing pieces or sides to the story. Textbooks do not always give the full picture. That’s what we call a classical approach. The...