Lies My Teacher Told Me

What is the legacy of John Brown? How should he be judged?


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John Brown is often misunderstood, vilified or exalted depending on what textbook and author one is reading. His legacy should be judged from the ruth of historical records and not some sanitized version of history. John Brown's legacy simply should be derived and judged from the truth.

“Our textbooks also handicap Brown by not letting him speak for himself. Even his jailer let Brown put pen to paper! American History includes three important sentences; American Adventures gives us almost two. The American Pageant reprints three sentences from a letter Brown wrote his brother. The other nine books do not provide even a phrase. Brown’s words, which moved a nation, therefore do not move students today.”

“Conceivably, textbook authors ignore John Brown’s ideas because in their eyes his violent acts make him ineligible for sympathetic consideration.” pg 179