Thomas Sowell

 Parents who are worried because their children are receiving a steady diet of politically correct propaganda in the schools and colleges often ask for suggestions of things they should get for their children to read, in hopes of de-programming them.

 The summer is a good time to let young people know that what they have been told in class is not the only side of the story or the only way to look at the world.

 If all that today's students seem to know about American history are its negative aspects -- which it shares with human societies in general -- then they may think that we are a truly awful country, without asking the question, "Compared to what?"

 It speaks volumes about our schools and colleges that far-left radical Howard Zinn's pretentiously titled book, "A People's History of the United States," is widely used across the country. It is one indictment, complaint, and distortion after another.

 Anyone who relies on this twisted version of American history would have no idea why millions of people from around the world are trying, sometimes desperately, to move to this country. The one virtue of Zinn's book is that it helps you identify unmistakably which teachers are using their classrooms as propaganda centers.

 There are still some honest history books around. Best-selling British historian Paul Johnson has written an outstanding book titled "A History of the American People" and another excellent book on recent world history titled "Modern Times."

 If you want a thorough, accurate, and no-spin history of race relations in the United States, the best history on that subject is "America in Black and White" by Abigail and Stephan Thernstrom. For a history of American ethnic groups in general, there is my own "Ethnic America." I cannot be unbiased about it, of course, but the fact that it has been translated into six other languages suggests that other people liked it too.

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate