I recently read a book that deserves the widest possible readership: "The Trouble with Textbooks -- Distorting History and Religion," by Gary A. Tobin and Dennis R. Ybarra. I never have met or talked with either of these gentlemen, but I can't say enough good things about this book. For all who believe that there is a fairly objective rendition of history that we are obliged to teach our children, this book reveals how shockingly far from that objective American education -- particularly in schools' textbooks -- has fallen.
In their conclusion, the authors quote the great historian of Islam Bernard Lewis' observation concerning the willful bending of history: "We live in a time when great efforts have been made, and continue to be made, to falsify the record of the past and to make history a tool of propaganda; when governments, religious movements, political parties, and sectional groups of every kind are busy rewriting history as they wish it to have been, as they would like their followers to believe that it was."
I discuss some of the findings of Tobin and Ybarra's study in my latest book ("American Grit -- What It Will Take To Survive and Win in the 21st Century"), which will be released Jan. 12. "The Trouble with Textbooks" identifies a system of self-censorship and cultural equivalence that "celebrates everybody and omits many unpleasant historic facts."
The grievance group that has become particularly adept at influencing textbook publishing is the organized Muslim lobby. The founder of the Council on Islamic Education, the chief Islamic group for vetting textbooks in the United States, refers to his work as a "bloodless revolution inside American junior high and high school classrooms."
He is, regrettably, right. While these days one may expect "sensitive deference" to Muslim sensitivities, the authors show how American textbooks have gone so far as to outright proselytize Islam.
Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.
In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.