America Revised

Schroth, Raymond A.

The Rose, is the old myth of the good man--the notion that the about pop stars which The Rose also contains. Neither he nor only way a talented, successful woman can be saved from Rydell is even...

...For Postman, these are rooted in its very nature, its use of images rather than language, its appeal to the Commonweal: 216...
...In this sense, the textbook--which is not, strictly speaking, a book at all, in that it is not the product of an individual's research, insight and vision but a com- mercial package constructed for an 11 April 1980:215 School of Applied Theology A Program of Christian Leadership and Shared Ministry The School of Applied Theology, an affiliate of the Graduate Theological Un-ion, Berkeley, California, is sponsored by the California Province of the Society of Jesus...
...But in the new film we can feel him a story in a way that The Coal Miner's Daughter never straining to make Loretta Lynn's story conform to the clich~ is...
...As Fitzgerald says: Under the noble standards of usefulness, they turned American history into civics and civics into propaganda for their version of the social good...
...Observing this, educators will sur- mise that Prof...
...Kent State, the Calley trial and Attica a new, but rather had been lost in a national Ten years later, Frances Fitzgerald, few months away, America was slowly amnesia...
...Upon successful comple-tion of the basic nine months, a certificate will be awarded...
...The hypothesis goes like this: educa- tion, which may be defined as culture's answer to the questions of a particular era, is best conceived of as a thermostatic activity...
...Students and teachers alike would have to live with the academic/ intellectual ambiguity that comes from not having the causes and effects of the Civil War or Cold War numbered and spelled out in a blue box for easy playback on the exam...
...George W. Shea I N 1967 Neil Postman co-authored a book entitled Teaching as a Subver- sive Activity...
...Rather, they are more often one more weapon in the war between the various tribes of local politi- cians and educationists for the minds of the young, as if the young had no minds of their own, were incapable of thinking or reading real books, but were mere blackboards on which the school boards can scrawl this year's civic pieties and call it education...
...So powerful is the influence of these media, that Postman refers to them as "the fast curriculum...
...He defines the information envi- ronment as the sum total of ways in which the members of a culture com- municate with one another, but stresses the fact that it controls more than just communication...
...Thus, quickly, the trade corrected replaces one of Booker T. Washington as print) The History of the Haymarket Af- the more optimistic views of the previous the representative Negro American...
...Paper $12 95, May PUEBLA AND BEYOND John Eagleson & Philip ScharperPaper $7.95 BLACK THEOLOGY A DocumentaryII History, 1966-1979 James H. Cone & Gayraud S. Wilmore Cloth $19.95, Paper $12.95 THE GOSPEL OF PEACE AND JUSTICE Catholic Social Teaching Since Pope John JosephGremillion Cloth $15.95, Paper $8.95 G Write for catalog ORBIS BOOKS m Man/knoll, N.Y...
...sion on the Causes and Prevention of her study of how for one hundred fifty This was a significant, traumatic shift Violence became Bantam mass market years textbook publishers have constantly in national consciousness, one which for paperbacks, Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr...
...tragedy is that she doesn't do this with Houston...
...For most of the nineteenth century hi~tory textbooks as- sumed that all Americans were Protes- tants...
...Her whole singing career is based on a kind of superlative scripted by men...
...In our own culture, the electronic media domi- nate the information environment to such an extent, Postman asserts, that they exercise a high degree of control over all minds, and especially over the minds of the young...
...Rydell did so with Cinderella Liberty, Spacek can't is put the singing itself at the heart of her perforApted with Agatha...
...Children between five and eighteen, he points out, spend 11,500 hours in classrooms but 15,000 hours in front of a television set, and closer to 20,000 hours watching or listening to all forms of electronic media combined...
...With four Atlantic-Little Brown, $9.95, 240 pp high school history textbooks, demonassassinations (including Malcolm X), strafing how 200 years of American "ofthe Watts, Rochester, Newark and De- Raymond A. Schroth ficial" violence--particularly wars of troit race riots in its immediate past, expansion--had been sanctioned, even 33,000 Americans and untold numbers warfare, vigilantism, and domestic op- glorified, because they had led to a supof civilians already dead in Vietnam, and pression in the 1960s were not exactly posedly greater America...
...Midler makes the concert scenes the most important, original way an episode from the life of another famous compelling part of her film, and thus makes TheRose whole as woman, Agatha Christie...
...Books: PACKAGING OUR PAST I I W AY BACK in the academic year of AMERICA REVISED led the reading lists of courses like mine...
...ON TOUR IN AN EXTRAORDINARY ONE-MAN SNOW FOR INFORMATION OR TO SCHEDULE IN YOUR AREA ReligiousReference WorKs from Orbis PROPHETS DENIED HONOR An Anthology on the I Hispano Church of Ithe U.S...
...The School con- fers the degree Master of Arts in Applied Theology upon completion of addi- tional requirements...
...What are the biases of the first media curriculum...
...Loretta's In both movies, therefore, it is left to the star to rescue the victory is that she does do it with Doo...
...For further information, write: School of Applied Theology Graduate Theological Union 2450 LeConte Avenue Berkeley, California "Norman Dletz has achieved some notable results...
...The to change the way we study and pass the sudden perception of its virulent, various reports of the National Commis- along our own past in America Revised, racist, violent aggression...
...Mabel B. Casner and Ralph Henry Gabriel's Exploring American History, fhst published in 193 l, has gone through over six editions and two title changes in 25 years, and has moved from a John Dewey-influenced liberal vision to a "bundle of anxieties" where the 1955 edition exhorts eighth graders to report their suspicions of Communist ac- tivity to the FBI...
...10545 m "educational market"--can, intellectu- ally, do more harm than good...
...COLIN L. WESTERBECK, JR...
...The one thing she can do that Miner's Daughter...
...AS A CONSERVATIVE ACTIVITY Neff Postman Delacorte, $9.95, 244 pp...
...And sometimes, the textbook, which was invented partly to make up for the shortcomings of the teacher, can also be the crutch that teaches the teacher how to take it easy and limp, that prematurely defines the limits of both the student's and teacher's imaginations...
...I I To understand Prof...
...The Rose's director, Mark Rydell, thirties, forties, and fifties, and being able to make them her has made at least one earlier film that told a woman's story own...
...For the dictatorship of the past they substituted that of the present, and for the flower child of the progressiveeducation movement they substituted the child immigrant to be "Americanized" by catechism...
...If, in a given culture, what Postman calls the information environ- ment shows signs of excessive move-ment in one direction, education should remedy this aberration and restore a bal- ance...
...Indeed, Postman him- self has anticipated this reaction and has shaped a hypothesis to explain his ap- parent change of mind...
...1969-70, when much of HISTORY SCHOOLBOOKS IN THE TWEN- Meanwhile, one of my students, Steve America--particularly the campuses-- TIETH CENTURY Hogan, as his final project, produced a seemed to be coming apart, I taught my short film of all the violent illustrations in first history course at Fordham, "Pat-Frances Fitzgerald a group of standard grammar school and terns of American Violence...
...Furthermore, he goes on to suggest that the proper task of the second or school curriculum is to remedy the biases or excesses of the first, that is to reestablish a balance in the information environment...
...And each star either case...
...It determines as well the way individuals perceive the world around them, and this is a major factor in shaping their values and behavior...
...In The Rose she makes the sixties her own as well with sensitively, as has Michael Apted, the director of The Coal her performance as Joplin...
...The here, but the truth is that Midler is an accomplished actress, Rose and The Coal Miner's Daughter were both directed and too...
...If there is ultimately a way to choose The killing irony of this moral is that if anything distin- between Midler's portrayal of Rose and Sphcek's of Loretta guishes these two films, it's the single-handed ability of their Lynn, it results from the fact that Midler brings more to the stars--Midler as Rose and Sissy Spacek as Loretta--to over- role...
...Neither he nor only way a talented, successful woman can be saved from Rydell is even trying to divert these films from their awful, herself is by latching on to a sensible, loving husband...
...almost pulls it off...
...And perhaps the community at large would have to offer a greater challenge to and put more trust in the history-teaching profession...
...The School has a twenty year history as a pro- fessional school designed to facilitate mature men and women--lay, priests, brothers, sisters--in their development as more effec- tive and confident Christian leaders...
...When asked about the inevitable flaming swords, the man- ager of that restaurant was supposed to have said, "Well, the customers like it, and it doesn't hurt the meat too much...
...Postman's argu- ment, it is necessary to explore his idea of an information environment somewhat further...
...The moral is the same in plot by the sheer force of her performance...
...He is simply trying to make the thermostat work prop- erly...
...redone their products, a~nd sometimes a while had caught historians and their published his quick essay, Violence in distorted the truth, not just to reflect a publishers off guard, and set "relevant" the Sixties, as a Signet book, and Richard new consensus about our history but to history teachers to scouring the stacks for Hofstadter and Michael Wallace (the cater to the whims and prejudices of the books like Jack London's The Iron Heel, standard textbook formula: a "name" "market," the redneck local school Richard Wright's Native Son, Almont historian and a young scholar to do most boards who hate the UN and fear the Lindsey's The Pullman Strike, Robert of the work) produced, compiled, Reds, and the "liberal" pressures as Penn Warren's Night Rider, and Henry American Violence, A Documentary His- well--so a picture of Stokley Carmichael David's wonderful (now sadly out of tory...
...Thus, though couched in a language and editorial format of solemnly au-thoritative "objectivity," textbooks have revealed as much about the preju- dices of each generation of authors and editors as about the society they have tried to portray...
...imitation, on having a unique ear for the singing styles of the Lynn's "autobiography...
...No mention of intellectual development...
...In Agatha Michael Apted imagined in an mance...
...after 1900 a distinction appeared between "We Americans" and "the immigrants" -- a"problem" -- who may or may not have what it takes to make it on these shores...
...Depressing or not, America Revised belongs with Alexis DeToqueville's Democracy in America, Hofstadter's Anti-Intellectualism in American Life and David Potter's People of Plenty on the required reading list of a course on The American Character...
...A man even served as ghostwriter on Ms...
...Antonio Stevens Arroyo, C.P...
...But they might discover that history, as an intellectual discipline, can be fun and the very heart of the educational experience...
...now he has written another called Teaching as a Conservative Activ- ity...
...Some did, so 1950s texts featured short biographies of successful immigrants--usually intellectuals and entertainers like Einstein (liberal) and Lily Pons (conservative...
...Rose's underlying sameness...
...Contemporary theology and ministerial skills are stressed in this process...
...who, more than any other writer, beginning to perceive itself in a new But within months the typewriters of changed how Americans perceived Vietway--as a once prosperous, progressive the historians were humming and the nam in Fire in the Lake, has taken a step and righteous nation now disoriented by publishers' presses were purring...
...No one who loves history and believes it actually can be taught can rejoice when even the new "inquiry" texts built around original documents are loaded down with stupid discussion questions and when the "val- ues clarification" programs are merely gimmicks which have no more effect on children than the flaming swords used to have on the meat served in the Pump Room in Chicago...
...And maybe students, sent to the library history stacks, would dis- cover real books...
...I only wish she had bit the bullet a little harder and added a chapter on how history should be taught...
...One should not be surprised, there- fore, to find a single author advocating subversion in an excessively traditional environment and conservation in one that has abandoned tradition...
...Perhaps, on the high school and college level, if teachers, school boards, and students had no lavish volumes with rifles like The March of a Great Nation to lean on, publishers would commission and teachers would assign more books like Henry Steele Commager and Allan Ne- vins's Short History of the United States, and ask Thomas Flexner, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., James MacGregor Bums, Robert V. Remini and Stephen B. Oates (to select some names almost at random) to do some personal, brief, brighfly-written paperback biographies of Washington, Hamilton, Jackson, Lincoin, Roosevelt, Jane Addams, Emma Goldman, etc...
...For many reasons, this is one of the most depressing, as well as stimulating, books I have read in years...
...Colorful and rehgmusly vibrant work...
...today's leave out the facts that Spaniards lusted after gold and slaughtered Indians, but show us happy Chicanos smiling at C~sar Ch~vez...
...In the 1920s texts portrayed the Spanish as people who lacked "moral and ethical character...
...The basic curriculum is a nine-month program di-vided into two areas: Academic Theology and Applied Theology, which in- cludes Human Communica- tions, Pastoral Counseling, Ministry in Action, and Spiritual Renewal...
...Sometimes, with the proper direction, a student can learn more history from the new Encyclopedia Brinanica, a good reading list, and some good tests than from a standard course...
...We may think of Spacek as the accomplished actress come the material with which men have provided them...
...The blame goes back to the National Education Association which decreed in reports in 1911 and 1918 that the task of the high school was "to lay the foundations of good citizen- ship and to help in the wise choice of vocation," and listed the objectives of education as "health, command of fun- damental processes, worthy home mem- bership, vocation, citizenship, worthy use of leisure, ethical character...
...fair to show that the phenomena of class decade's consensus historians and swel- The sad, but not surprising, news is Commonweal: 214 that history textbooks have little or noth- ing to do with teaching history as an intellectual discipline...
...Postman has a keen sense of which way the social and intellectual wind is blowing...
...Common sense or bright idea TEACHINI...

Vol. 107 • April 1980 • No. 7


 
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