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How much of my American Government textbook should I trust?

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posted on Sep, 3 2008 @ 11:51 PM
I'm taking it as a course in college. I'm going to be majoring in political science so I thought I'd ask the question here. The text-book clearly believes that Democrats hold a pre-911 worldview (which is not true at all). It also says that we are the leader in bringing about Democracies to the world (and it doesn't say how the framers intended the USA to be in isolation from the Eastern Hemisphere). Given the fact that the text-book tries to shed light on current events... for those of you who have taken classes like American Government... how much of it should I trust? How much of it should I take seriously? I don't want to be brainwashed like the rest of the people in my class probably will be (by blindly believing everything the book says) but I still want to learn from the class. What should I do in this case?

posted on Sep, 4 2008 @ 12:04 AM
Dont believe everything you read. All of the information you get in that class is given from a particular point of view. understand who is saying it and what their reasoning is. Do not just dismiss an opinion because you dont agree with it. You will get much farther in life (and get a better grade) if you can gain a understanding of as many points of view as possible. study all sides of and argument from an objective point of view.

your democrats/9-11 issue is a good example.

figure out why people feel that way, understand how they came to that conclusion. if you can do that objectively you can debate the premise they stand on and not the conclusion which will be a million times more effective.

This does not mean any kind of character attacks, dont discount their opinion because the are "neo-cons" or ultra liberal.

Also, you need to figure out through objective reasoning where you stand on the political continuum. Alot of people that seem like total nut jobs may only be far left or right of you but not that far from center.

i disagree with Michael Savage and I disagree with Michael Moore

But, because I am to the right of center I think that from my point of view Moore is way more crazy tha Savage. But, that is only because I am closer on the political continuum to Savage than Moore. When in reality they are both equal distance from the center just on opposit sides.

Here is a good picture political continuum

posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 10:02 AM
I would read it for that particular point of view - then research topics of interest on your own from a variety of sources. There are certain fundamental points of interest you can draw from the book - facts that can't be biased because they are considered common knowledge (taken from a variety of first hand sources) . Like the old saying says "the devil is in the details" - but in this case it could be argued that the only way to find the truth is through the details.

The sheer fact that you are skeptical about the book gives you the power to analyze, and possibly discredit portions of the book. I personally wouldn't trust the book because it's obviously biased and pro American Government.

It's kind of like watching CNN to get a broad idea of the World News - then looking into each of those events on your own from news agencies around the world and ideally first hand accounts - to draw your own conclusion based on the bigger picture.

posted on Sep, 7 2008 @ 02:57 AM

check out the book
"lies my teacher told me" by
jason loweman (not sure on the author name)

its a good one about education in the usa

posted on Sep, 7 2008 @ 09:22 AM
You should take everything with a grain of salt.

It's going a bit too far to suggest that you should pay $10000 a year to dismiss everything you're taught.

You seem to have a critical mind, so you should be able distinguish fact from analysis or opinion.

In my graduate program, some professors couldn't keep from expounding on their political views at the expense of discussing the course content and that is a problem that seems to be widespread.

In those cases, it's just best to grin and bear it.

Sometimes textbook authors do twist the facts, but sometimes the facts just don't jibe with our personal experience.

Just as an example, women make less in the workplace than men, but when you control for education women make as much as men and more. Politicians and even textbooks sometimes ignore the latter.

When the facts don't seem to add up, look at the source data.

When you approach schooling in this way, you are really pursuing an education and not just a diploma.

[edit on 2008/9/7 by GradyPhilpott]

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