Textbooks Behaving Badly

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Ed Kaitz focuses on college textbooks in a post yesterday at AmericanThinker.com, but it’s not any better at the K-12 level. And no, that fact doesn’t influence Republican Party support for the lavish funding of those institutions.

Are academic textbooks important in deciding the fate of nations? Three of the last century’s most celebrated intellectuals answered that question strongly in the affirmative. In 1944, for example, C.S. Lewis penned his most profound literary work, The Abolition of Man, in response to a new textbook about to hit the shelves in England. For Lewis, the rather subversive new English primer seemed dedicated to making a “clean sweep of traditional values,” including the very notion of objective, universal laws of nature. Lewis was worried that the “practical result” of the textbook’s influence “must be the destruction of the society which accepts it.”

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Today, the assault on both traditional values and the free market continues in many conventional college textbooks, making it difficult for academia’s most visible minority, conservative professors, to locate ideologically balanced anthologies.

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