Marc Schulman at “American Future” picks up on the narrative and background of the Sept. 11 attacks as it appears in some recent textbooks marketed to public high schools. Looks like there’s still some work to be done.
A different approach can be found in The American Promise, by James Roark et al., an introductory college text that is the most widely adopted textbook in the market. It is assigned in dozens of high schools, public and private, including public schools in Atlanta, Newark and Chicago. A section written by Susan Hartmann, who teaches history at Ohio State, identifies bin LadenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s goals and then explains the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œwhyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚? of his finding supporters: ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œHigh levels of poverty ignored by undemocratic and corrupt governments provided bin Laden a pool of disaffected young Muslims who saw the United States as the evil source of their misery and the supporter of IsraelÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s oppression of Palestinian Muslims.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚?
To which he adds, “If Hartmann had done her homework, she would have known that the majority of terrorists are educated and come from middle-class backgrounds.”
Personally, this irritates me far more than the crescent built into the Flight 93 memorial. That’s an argument over the meaning of symbols. This is direct injection of intellectual curare into the minds of the next generation of Americans.