Book Rec: History in the Making by Kyle Ward

So who is a fan of The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood? Cause I am. Later today, or maybe tomorrow, I'll be officially relaunching my design/art/craft business blog, Secret Linings. Basically, I'm going to focus on different areas of craft and design. There will be tutorials (eventually video tutorials), tips, links/suppliers of interest, shop announcements, and sneak peaks at upcoming merchandise. So look out for my sample Great Literature Series bag today or tomorrow. And no, I'm not selling merchandise based on a book still copyrighted. Onward, then. Book Rec: History in the Making by Kyle Ward I'm not picky when it comes to non-fiction books. I just want something insightful and well-written with an interesting concept approached in a new way. History in the Making is my kind of non-fiction book. Sure, the history of education has been covered before; so has the tendency of countries (America in particular) to rewrite history so past actions are viewed as more palatable. What Kyle Ward does to make his book stand out is actually use the text. It's like a literary approach to history, and I like it. The book follows the history of text books in the United States, from olden days when Native Americans were called noble savages (in the more progressive texts; others preferred demons, cannibals, or animals) to modern times. The book is broken down by event, with analysis of how the rhetoric of education evolved. It's nothing if not fascinating. It's also shocking at times. We would like to believe that a modern audience is somehow better than our ancestors, but some of the entries from even thirty years ago were almost as strange as claiming (as some of the texts used to) that slaves were mentally incapable of living their own lives and giving them work and housing kept them alive. Of course, the lasting impression of the book is a clear one: what will our education system look like ten, twenty, fifty years down the line? Will we be wincing at how we cover the Cuban Missile Crisis? Or Pearl Harbor? Or even Colonial America? Who can say? It's a great book to get your mind going. Try it if you want a taste of a different kind of history book or have an interest in the history of education.

Labels: book rec