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Use this directory to obtain commentaries that appeared
originally in The Textbook Letter, Volumes 6 through 12

Most of the pages on this Web site display commentaries that were published originally in Volumes 6 through 12 of The Textbook Letter. You can get any or all of those pages by using the directory below. The volumes are arranged in reversed chronological order, and so are the issues within each volume.

from The Textbook Letter, Volume 12, Issues Number 4 and Number 5
         Issues 4 and 5 of Volume 12 were combined in a single 28-page publication.

Review of Course 3 in the high-school series COMAP's Mathematics: Modeling Our World.

Review of the 2002 version of Chemistry in the Community: ChemCom, a high-school textbook developed by the American Chemical Society and sold by W.H. Freeman and Company.

Review of Diane Ravitch's book The Language Police, an exposé of the formal, pervasive system of censorship that reduces many American schoolbooks to pabulum.       More about censorship -- Soon after The Language Police was published, Diane Ravitch wrote an article for The Wall Street Journal about censorship in the production of schoolbooks and other educational materials. Here are some excerpts from that article, along with two relevant letters that later appeared in the Journal.       "How Evidence Discredits a Tale About Politically Correct Indians" -- In The Language Police, Diane Ravitch recounts some of the claims by which the writers of a high-school textbook have glorified the Anasazi Indians. We offer an analysis of those claims by a cultural anthropologist.

Review of Force, Motion, and Energy, an admirable physical-science text, published by Science Curriculum Inc., that is recommended for use in grade 8 or 9.

Review the 2005 version of Glencoe Science: Life Science, a middle-school book.

"Holt's 'Palestine' Stunt" -- In a high- school history text published by Holt, Rinehart and Winston, the writers have used trickery to promote Zionism.

"The Quota-Queens and the Empress" -- Striving to appease feminist quota-queens, the writers of Holt Science & Technology: Life Science have attributed a biological discovery to a woman who is fictitious.

"Discovering 1421" -- The book 1421: The Year China Discovered America is pseudohistorical rubbish.


from The Textbook Letter, Volume 12, Issue Number 3

Review of Course 2 in the high-school series COMAP's Mathematics: Modeling Our World.

Review of the 2002 version of Astronomy: From the Earth to the Universe, a book recommended for use in high-school honors courses.

"More Fakery from Prentice Hall" -- In the first book of the Prentice Hall Science Explorer series, students read fake "information" about the chemist Joseph Priestley.


from The Textbook Letter, Volume 12, Issue Number 2

Review of McDougal Littell's The Challenge of Terrorism, a high-school book.

Review of the 2004 version of Garland Science's Essential Cell Biology, a book recommended for use in high-school honors courses.

Two reviews of Glencoe Science: Life Science, a middle-school book.

"Refuting Propaganda About the Crusades" -- An essay by the historian Thomas F. Madden will help history teachers to refute Muslim claptrap about the crusades.

"Space Junk" -- McDougal Littel's high- school book World History: Patterns of Interaction teaches that "The Great Wall of China is so huge that it is one of the few human-made features on Earth visible from space." That is nonsense.

"Simplistic Question, Valid Point" -- The list of Nobel laureates in the physical sciences includes two men with Muslim names, but both of those men pursued their scientific careers in the West, not in the lands of Islam.

"Teaching Fake 'Science' to Teachers" -- The writers of Methods for Teaching Science as Inquiry, a book that Pearson Education markets to science teachers, continue to disseminate an old, bogus notion about "the basic principle of flight."


from The Textbook Letter, Volume 12, Issue Number 1

"Schoolbooks Teach Falsehoods and Feel-Good Myths About the Underground Railroad and Harriet Tubman."

Review of the 2000 version of Prentice Hall's Environmental Science: The Way the World Works.

Review of INTO ISLAM, a fraudulent curriculum manual produced by Interaction Publishers.

"Muslim Schoolbooks."

"Joy Hakim Should Not Write About the History of Europe."


from The Textbook Letter, Volume 12, Issue Number 6

Review of BSCS Biology: A Molecular Approach.

Two reviews of Glencoe Life Science.


from The Textbook Letter, Volume 11, Issue Number 5

Review of Course 1 in COMAP's Mathematics: Modeling Our World, a three-book series for use in high schools.

Review of the 1998 version of Glencoe's Biology: Living Systems, a high-school book.       "Sexual Fantasies, Sexual Facts" -- In Glencoe's Biology: Living Systems, as in most of the life-science textbooks and biology textbooks that are sold for use in American schools, the writers promote an archaic superstition by making deceitful claims about reproduction in animals.


from The Textbook Letter, Volume 11, Issue Number 4

Two reviews of Prentice Hall's The American Nation, a high-school book.       "The Kwanzaa Hoax" -- In The American Nation, Prentice Hall attempts to dignify and promote a phony "African" holiday, called Kwanzaa, that was invented by a black racist in 1966. Kwanzaa is a hoax built around fake history and pseudohistorical delusions.       "Glorifying Ignorance" -- Like many other schoolbooks that are intended for sale to dumb teachers, Prentice Hall's The American Nation contains gimmicks which look like didactic devices but which, in fact, don't require teachers or students to know anything or learn anything.

Review of the 2001 version of Glencoe Pre-Algebra, a high-school book.

Review of ISLAM: A Simulation, a fraudulent curriculum manual marketed by Interaction Publishers.


from The Textbook Letter, Volume 11, Issue Number 3

Two reviews of the 2000 version of Kendall/Hunt's Global Science: Energy, Resources, Environment, a high-school book.

Review of the 1999 version of Holt Health, a high-school book.

"Houghton Mifflin's Islamic Connection" -- In Houghton Mifflin's middle-school book Across the Centuries, the lesson titled "Muhammad and Islam" is loaded with religious propaganda. Muslim myths and superstitions are falsely presented as "history," and students repeatedly are deceived and are subjected to Muslim religious indoctrination. The "Muhammad and Islam" lesson evidently was supplied to Houghton Mifflin by the Council on Islamic Education, a Muslim pressure group based in California.

"More Fake 'History' from Glencoe" -- Often, it seems, the producers of sleazy textbooks want something more than to get money by duping and fleecing ignorant teachers. Often, it seems, they aren't happy unless they also can mock and ridicule the teachers openly. Look at what Glencoe has done in History of a Free Nation, a high-school book that allegedly deals with American history.

"More Hokum from Hakim" -- Continuing our analysis of falsehoods and distortions that appear in Joy Hakim's series A History of US, we examine three more of Hakim's feats of trickery.

"Prentice Hall Concocts a Fake Article and Ascribes It to The New York Times" -- How dumb are middle-school science teachers? According to the writers of the Prentice Hall Science Explorer series, middle-school science teachers are dumb enough to believe that the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge commanded only four paragraphs in The New York Times. With this answer in mind, Prentice Hall's hacks have concocted a fake newspaper article, have attributed it to the Times, and have inserted it into Motion, Forces, and Energy, the thirteenth book of their series.


from The Textbook Letter, Volume 11, Issues Number 1 and Number 2
         Issues 1 and 2 of Volume 11 were combined in a single 40-page publication.

"Textbook-Writers Promote Religious Tales as 'History' " -- Various textbooks contain deceitful passages which lead students to believe that myths presented in the Hebrew Bible's Book of Genesis and Book of Exodus are accounts of real persons and real events. In an especially bizarre case, the schoolbook-writer Joy Hakim has used her book Making Thirteen Colonies as a platform for disseminating her personal fantasies about biblical figures, as if those fantasies were facts.       "It's About Time" -- In Making Thirteen Colonies, Joy Hakim depicts the biblical figure Abraham as a real person, and she says that Abraham lived "almost 4,000 years ago." That claim is an anachronism. Even if Abraham had really existed, the adventures that are ascribed to him in the Book of Genesis could not have occurred any earlier than the 11th century BC.

"Letters Received" from Donald Yost and from Roland G. Dowling.

Review of the 2001 version of World Cultures: A Global Mosaic, a high-school book sold by Prentice Hall.

"Nothing Is Sacred but the Almighty Buck" -- In McGraw-Hill's schoolbook Ancient World, the lesson titled "The Beginnings of Christianity" is a fraud. McGraw-Hill has employed distortions and lies to misrepresent the early history of Christianity and to falsify the origins, the nature, and the content of Christian scripture.

Two reviews of Taking Religion Seriously Across the Curriculum -- Warren A. Nord and Charles C. Haynes have developed a scheme for overhauling American education: Our public schools must renounce rationality, must promote and endorse popular religious beliefs, must present religious myths as "history," and must make the world safe for superstition by abolishing instruction in natural science. The Nord-and-Haynes scheme is set forth in Taking Religion Seriously Across the Curriculum, a malevolent and dishonest book that may seem to be respectable, at first glance, because it has been published by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.       "Fostering Fundamentalism" -- In each of four high-school history books, the material about Jesus and early Christianity has been contrived to deny historical scholarship and to conceal everything that scholars have deduced about Jesus and about the origins of Christian scripture. In each book, the material about Jesus serves to only to foster fundamentalism and fundamentalist beliefs.

Review of the 2000 version of Scott Foresman - Addison Wesley Biology: The Web of Life, a high-school book.

"Multi-Culti Joy" -- In a schoolbook written by Joy Hakim, two multi-culti fantasies are promoted as "history," even though the fantasies plainly contradict one another. Hakim, eagerly pandering to the multi-culti crowd, makes no attempt to resolve the contradiction.


from The Textbook Letter, Volume 10, Issue Number 6

Review of the 2000 version of Holt Environmental Science, a high-school textbook.

Review of the 1999 version of Pearson Education's Prentice Hall Exploring Physical Science, a middle-school textbook.       "Sink, Sank, Sunk" -- A photograph that appears in Prentice Hall Exploring Physical Science is duplicated in another book that Pearson Education sells, Scott Foresman - Addison Wesley Science Insights: Exploring Matter and Energy. In each case, the photograph is accompanied by labels, but the labels shown in the Prentice Hall book repeatedly contradict the labels shown in the Scott Foresman - Addison Wesley book. There is no reason to believe that any label in either book is correct.

"First the Hoopla -- Then the Whitewash" -- In March 1999, Pearson Education staged a big publicity stunt by announcing "Open Book Publishing," essentially a scheme for finding errors in Pearson schoolbooks and for using the Internet to disseminate corrections to teachers. Pearson executives knew that one of their phony "science" books, Prentice Hall Exploring Physical Science, would soon be exposed in a report by Sam Donaldson on the national television program 20/20, and they evidently hoped that their Open Book hoopla would serve to counteract the 20/20 presentation. Since then, lists of corrections for many Pearson books have been posted on Pearson's Web site, but the lists are superficial, incomplete and misleading: They have been rigged to omit many of the books' defects and to conceal many of the books' worst derangements. Pearson's Open Book Publishing is a sham.       "Count 'em: Four Hundred and Six!" -- During his 20/20 report about schoolbooks, Sam Donaldson showed the 1995 version of Prentice Hall Exploring Physical Science to Anthea Maton, the woman whose name led the list of "authors" shown on the book's title page. For Maton, looking at Prentice Hall Exploring Physical Science was a brand-new experience. She hadn't had anything to do with writing Prentice Hall Exploring Physical Science, and she had never seen a copy of it. Maton can enjoy many more experiences like that one, if she wants to, because Prentice Hall has put her name on at least 406 books.

"Some Nasty Performances in Oklahoma" -- During Oklahoma's adoption of science textbooks in 1999, the State Textbook Committee staged a dirty little sideshow, and Pearson Education decided to display its contempt for students, for education, and for simple honesty.


from The Textbook Letter, Volume 10, Issue Number 5

Review of the 2000 version of Glencoe's Biology: The Dynamics of Life, a high-school book.

Review of Pearson Education's Scott Foresman - Addison Wesley Science Insights: Exploring Living Things, a middle-school book.       "On Wings of Ignorance" -- The writers of Scott Foresman - Addison Wesley Science Insights: Exploring Living Things say that the wings of birds and the wings of airplanes "make use of the same physical principle to provide lift." The writers, however, have no idea of what that principle may be. In "explaining" how wings function, they present pseudoscientific claptrap that was refuted long ago.

"Pandering" -- Schoolbooks issued by Prentice Hall and by Holt dispense misinformation about Madame Curie, along with deceptive pictures.

"Good Stuff for History Teachers" -- Schoolbook "history" isn't real history, and schoolbooks give no help to teachers who want to show their students how real history is constructed and how historians work. For information about such matters, teachers must turn to legitimate publications. Two publications that seem particularly useful in this context are Carol Reardon's book Pickett's Charge in History and Memory and Sheldon M. Stern's new article "Would JFK Have Pulled Us Out of Vietnam?"


from The Textbook Letter, Volume 10, Issue Number 4

Review of the seventh edition of Introductory Physical Science, an outstanding book, published by Science Curriculum Inc., that is recommended for use in grade 8 or 9.

Review of the 1999 version of Prentice Hall's World Cultures: A Global Mosaic, a high-school book.

Review of the 1999 version of Glencoe Pre-Algebra, a high-school book.

"Keeping an Eye on the Scams, Shams and Swindles" -- Oxford University Press seeks to bamboozle teachers by making a bogus promotional claim.

"More Fake 'History' from Glencoe" -- The writers of Glencoe's American Odyssey: The United States in the 20th Century use distortion and disinformation in an attempt to glorify the Anasazi, a group of Amerindians who went extinct in the 13th century. The account of the Anasazi in American Odyssey combines fake history with fake anthropology.

"The Suckers Get No Mercy" -- Prentice Hall, now a part of Pearson Education, continues to use multi-culti shenanigans for gulling foolish teachers.


from The Textbook Letter, Volume 10, Issue Number 3

Review of the 2000 version of Chemistry: Concepts and Applications, a high-school book issued by Glencoe.

Review of the 1999 version of Street Law: A Course in Practical Law, issued by West Educational Publishing.

Review of the 1999 version of Biology: An Everyday Experience, a high-school book issued by Glencoe.

Review of the 1998 Texas edition of Biology: The Dynamics of Life, a high-school book issued by Glencoe.

Review of Responsible Driving, a high-school book issued by Glencoe.       "Meet Deaf Kitty" -- To comply with the fad for warbling about "cultures," the writers of Glencoe's Responsible Driving have plastered their book with silly "Cultural Crossroads" items. Most of the items consist of drivel about "cultural" groups that are entirely fictitious. The writers have even invented a "cultural" group consisting of movie stunt-women who are deaf!

"My Ten Months with Glencoe" -- Kristina S. Cooper provides a personal memoir of doings in Glencoe's social-studies department.

"It Isn't Even Wrong" -- Leonard Tramiel analyses an idiotic illustration that has been printed and reprinted, again and again, in Prentice Hall "science" books.

"Keeping an Eye on the Scams, Shams and Swindles" -- Glencoe, it seems, has contrived another device for deceiving teachers and students: fake "news."

"Judging Books by Their Covers" -- In 1964 the eminent physicist Richard Feynman observed how the State of California's Curriculum Commission chose math textbooks for use in public schools. In his acerbic memoir of that experience, titled "Judging Books by Their Covers," Feynman analyzed the Commission's idiotic method of evaluating books, and he described some of the tactics employed by schoolbook salesmen who wanted the Commission to adopt their shoddy products. Here is an extended excerpt from Feynman's narrative.

"Time Warp" -- Looking at the schoolbook 'Glencoe Pre-Algebra,' we see that Glencoe's brand of mathematics doesn't include the art of counting.

"Superb Work" -- The major schoolbook companies make sure that their phony "American-history" texts don't contain any legitimate accounts of World War 2. As a result, responsible teachers who want to give meaningful lessons about World War 2 must look beyond schoolbooks and must consult respectable sources. In this context, David M. Kennedy's masterful article "Victory at Sea," recently published in The Atlantic Monthly, is priceless.

"Taco Tales" -- The American Nation, which Pearson Education is peddling to high schools as an American-history text, is an aggregation of multi-culti fictions and deceptions. Let us examine a case in which the writers resort to outright lying.

"Rain-Forest Claptrap" -- Schoolbook companies routinely embellish their books with irrelevant, politically correct claptrap about tropical rain forests. The rain-forest claptrap in Holt, Rinehart and Winston's Holt Health is especially bad because Holt's writers try to kill two toucans with one stone.


from The Textbook Letter, Volume 10, Issue Number 2

Review of Glencoe Earth Science, a middle-school book.

Review of Jones and Bartlett's Evolution (third edition, 2000), a college text that many high-school teachers will prize as a reference book.

Review of the 1999 version of Glencoe's Human Heritage: A World History, which Glencoe sells as a high-school book.

Review of the 1998 version of Pearson Education's Fearon's Biology, which Pearson sells as a high-school book.

Review of the 1998 version of Glencoe's Biology: The Dynamics of Life, a high-school book.

Review of Glencoe Pre-Algebra, a high-school book.

"Did Somebody Say McTrash?" -- The McDonald's Corporation has distributed a booklet titled Little Known Black History Facts. It includes some fake "history" that has appeared, and continues to appear, in trashy schoolbooks.


from The Textbook Letter, Volume 10, Issue Number 1

Review of Prentice Hall's America: Pathways to the Present, a high-school book that allegedly tells about American history.

Review of Sandra Stotsky's book Losing Our Language -- an account of how multi-culti ideologues, with abundant help from schoolbook companies, have turned elementary-school reading courses into devices for inculcating young students with multi-culti social attitudes and political views.       "Losing Our Science" -- In Losing Our Language, Sandra Stotsky makes this comment about today's basal readers: "Stories about the great achievements in American science, technology, and political life in the past 200 years are missing -- and they are missing, it seems, simply because a story about them would call attention to a white male." Such perversity can be seen in many other schoolbooks as well. In multi-culti history books and multi-culti science books, the history of science and the history of technology are systematically distorted, falsified or suppressed.

"So Much for History!" -- In an earlier issue of TTL, Sheldon M. Stern reviewed the bogus, dishonest Teacher's Guide that was published in conjunction with the television series Africans in America. Now Stern provides a short sequel to his review.


from The Textbook Letter, Volume 9, Issue Number 6

Review of Prentice Hall's Exploring the Universe, a middle-school book.

Two reviews of Benjamin/Cummings's Biology, fourth edition, a book recommended for use in high-school honors courses and advanced-placement courses.

Review of Jones and Bartlett's Essential Genetics, second edition, a book recommended for use in high-school honors courses and advanced-placement courses.

Review of the 1998 version of Glencoe's History of a Free Nation, which is sold for use in high schools and is allegedly an American-history book.

Review of West Educational Publishing's Modern World History, a high-school book.

"Keeping an Eye on the Scams, Shams and Swindles" -- We observe that nearly all of the material in Addison Wesley Longman's high-school textbook Scott Foresman - Addison Wesley Environmental Science has been copied directly from a book that was issued in 1995, though Addison Wesley Longman has concealed this fact and has equipped Scott Foresman - Addison Wesley Environmental Science with a brand-new set of "Authors." Then we report the results of our inquiry into Glencoe's claim that the National Geographic Society is the principal author of Glencoe's middle-school book Geography: The World and Its People.

"Oh, Rigoberta!" -- Rigoberta Menchú, whose ascent to fame began when her "autobiography" was published, is the subject of gushy, puffy passages in some schoolbooks (McDougal Littell's World History: Patterns of Interaction, for example). Now Menchú has been discredited, her "autobiography" has been exposed as a fraud, and her most memorable narratives have been found to be lies.


from The Textbook Letter, Volume 9, Issue Number 5

Review of the 1998 version of Holt's Modern Earth Science, a high-school book.

Review of the 1998 version of Glencoe's Merrill Chemistry, a high-school book.

Two reviews of Addison Wesley Longman's Scott Foresman - Addison Wesley Biology: The Web of Life, which is sold for use in high schools and is allegedly a biology text.       "Fakery Squared" -- The title page of Addison Wesley Longman's Scott Foresman - Addison Wesley Biology: The Web of Life displays a phony quotation that allegedly came from "Chief Seattle's Speech." The quotation actually was invented by Addison Wesley Longman's writers. The writers concocted a fake excerpt from a speech that was phony to begin with.

"She Wasn't My Mother" -- Mother Teresa of Calcutta spouted slogans about compassion and humility while she built a commercial empire and a personal cult by exploiting the poorest of the poor. She died in 1997, but the mythic persona which she and her handlers had so assiduously cultivated is still alive -- and now it is being promoted in McDougal Littell's high-school textbook World History: Patterns of Interaction. Teachers who want to provide their students with some legitimate information about Mother T should consult Christopher Hitchens's book The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice.

"Pearson's New Schoolbook Enterprise" -- Pearson PLC, a corporation based in London, has acquired all of Simon & Schuster's schoolbook operations. Pearson also owns Addison Wesley Longman, a major schoolbook company that was formed in 1995. In November, Pearson announced that it would combine its newly acquired Simon & Schuster operations with Addison Wesley Longman to form a new enterprise, Pearson Education.


from The Textbook Letter, Volume 9, Issue Number 4

Two reviews of Glencoe's The American Journey, a middle-school book in American history.

Two reviews of Prentice Hall Biology: The Living Science, a high-school book.

Review of Mechanics, the first volume in the series Conceptual Physics for Parents and Teachers, issued by Focus Publishing.

"It Will Be a Shame If Teachers Follow This Dishonest 'Guide' " -- The Public Broadcasting Service's television series titled Africans in America is a good presentation of some important history, but the Teacher's Guide that has been published in conjunction with the series is loaded with falsity and with politically correct disinformation. Do the corporate sponsors of Africans in America know that the Teacher's Guide persistently distorts the historical record and conflicts with the television production, undermining that production's educational value?

"Robin Who?" -- The "information" about Robin Hood in McDougal Littell's high-school book World History: Patterns of Interaction is baloney, and it reaffirms a rule which has no exceptions: The phony "history" invented by schoolbook-writers is never as interesting as the real history that the writers haven't bothered to learn.


from The Textbook Letter, Volume 9, Issue Number 3

Two reviews of Glencoe's Chemistry: Concepts and Applications, a high-school book.

Review of the 1997 version of Holt's World Geography Today, a high-school book.

Review of Glencoe's History of a Free Nation, which is sold for use in high schools and is allegedly an American-history textbook.

Review of Fearon's Biology, which has been adopted by Texas's State Board of Education for use as a high-school book.

"More Fake 'History' from Glencoe" -- The writers of Glencoe's high-school text American Odyssey: The United States in the 20th Century have invented a list of features that supposedly made the American slave system more vicious than all others. In so doing, these writers have provided an exceptional demonstration of the art of perverting the historical record for the sake of promoting Victimist delusions.

"Fun in the Tub" -- During the past few years Prentice Hall has printed and reprinted, in various middle-school "science" books, an article that purports to tell about a manifestation of Bernoulli's principle. The article is wrong on all counts. Some simple experiments show that Bernoulli's principle has nothing to do with the things that the article describes.


from The Textbook Letter, Volume 9, Issue Number 2

Two reviews of World History: The Human Odyssey, a high-school book issued by West Educational Publishing.

Two reviews of the general-science books Science Probe I and Science Probe II, which South-Western Educational Publishing sells for use in high schools.

Review of the 1996 version of Addison-Wesley Biology, a high-school book.

Review of the 1999 version of Addison Wesley Longman's Conceptual Physics, a high-school book.

"Geographic Society Refuses to Tell Why Its Name Appears on a Trashy Text" -- Glencoe's high-school book Glencoe World Geography is a mess of fake "geography," fake "history," cheesy stereotypes and bald self-contradictions. Glencoe claims that the book's principal author is the National Geographic Society. The Society's director of education products has refused to respond to a written inquiry about this matter.

"More Fake 'History' from Glencoe" -- In an American-history textbook that Glencoe/McGraw sells for use in middle schools, some "information" about Lewis and Clark has been conjured out of thin air.

"Recalling the Portland Hoax" -- The municipal school district of Portland, Oregon, adopted some curriculum documents called African-American Baseline Essays, and even sold copies of them to districts in other cities. The documents were products of a hoax.

"Now We Know" -- Holt, Rinehart and Winston, a company that has been selling physics textbooks for decades, has just discovered that textbooks are inadequate for teaching "physics concepts." And by a fortunate coincidence, Holt has also discovered the solution to this problem. Students can learn concepts if they use a CD-ROM that Holt sells for $49.95.


from The Textbook Letter, Volume 9, Issue Number 1

Review of the 1999 version of Prentice Hall World History: Connections to Today, a high-school book.

Two reviews of BSCS Biology: An Ecological Approach (the eighth edition of the high-school book that is commonly known as the BSCS Green Version).

Review of the 1999 version of World History: The Human Experience, a high-school book sold by Glencoe.

Two reviews of Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science, a publication issued by the National Academy of Sciences.

"Birdbrains" -- In Globe Fearon's schoolbook Exploring American History, Amerindians live "in harmony with nature" but don't know much about birds. Poor Indians!

"Recommended Reading" -- Academic Press's compact, beautiful Encyclopedia of Fishes will help biology teachers to convey some real ichthyology to their students, instead of the nonsense seen in most biology texts and life-science texts. That nonsense has been contrived to reinforce the doctrine of "nature's ladder," a superstition.

"The Flat-Earth Story -- Again" -- A Glencoe high-school book continues to peddle the claim that in medieval times, most Europeans thought that Earth was flat. That claim is false.

"Simon & Schuster's Bible Scam" -- Simon & Schuster has staged a scam involving a book that promotes mystical claptrap, and the scam has been exposed. This is the same Simon & Schuster that controls three major schoolbook-producers: Globe Fearon, Prentice Hall, and Silver Burdett Ginn.


from The Textbook Letter, Volume 8, Issue Number 6

Two reviews of Holt's Essentials of Biology, a high-school book that allegedly is suitable for "English language learners, poor readers, and other students who need extra help."

Review of the 1997 version of Glencoe World Geography, a high-school book.       "How Vitaly Efimenko Is Enjoying Russia's 'Religious Revival' " -- In Glencoe World Geography, Glencoe continues to peddle a phony, sanctimonious tale about a "religious revival" in Russia. The writers don't tell that the "revival" is actually a boom in supernaturalistic and occult fancies of all kinds, including magic, vampirism, astrology and witchcraft. A good report on this aspect of post-Soviet life has appeared in The Wall Street Journal.

Two reviews of the 1999 version of Holt's Modern Chemistry, a high-school book.

"Oops!" -- Prentice Hall is selling, for use in high schools, a textbook called Physics. Prentice Hall claims that the book is aimed at "Grades 11-12" and is suitable for "students of all ability levels," but Physics is actually a college text, originally issued under the title College Physics.

"Don't Drink the Water" -- It is easy to laugh at the horror stories disseminated by anti-fluoridation cranks, but we have to view such stories seriously, for a moment, because some of them appear in Holt's high-school book Modern Chemistry.


from The Textbook Letter, Volume 8, Issue Number 5

Review of Saunders's Astronomy: From the Earth to the Universe, a book recommended for high-school honors courses.

Two reviews of the 1997 version of Addison-Wesley Chemistry, a high-school book.       "Tigers, Toads and Tricks" -- Addison-Wesley Chemistry has a highly deceptive article in which the Addison-Wesley writers try to promote Oriental quackery. This is not surprising. Several of Addison-Wesley's recent science textbooks have included deceitful passages that mock science, conflate science with folklore or magic, and endorse superstition.

Review of the 1998 version of McDougal Littell's America's Past and Promise, which is sold for use in middle schools and is allegedly an American-history text.

Two reviews of South-Western's Biology: A Community Context, which is sold as a high-school book.

"Exposing Lifetime Learning's Amistad Scam" -- Lifetime Learning Systems is one of the "big players" in the business of inducing classroom teachers to promote commercial products. In December the company mailed to 20,000 educators a kit that plugged Steven Spielberg's film Amistad, falsely declared that the film told "a true story," and urged teachers to give lessons in which the film would be studied as if it were an account of real history. The film is actually a piece of fiction.


from The Textbook Letter, Volume 8, Issue Number 4

Review of the 1998 version of Holt's Biology: Visualizing Life, a high-school book.

Two reviews of McDougal Littell's Introductory Chemistry: A Foundation, a high-school book.

Review of the 1998 version of Holt's Biology: Principles and Explorations, a high-school book.

Two reviews of McDougal Littell's America's Past and Promise, which is sold for use in middle schools and is allegedly an American-history text.       "Crucify Her!" -- The writers of America's Past and Promise are racists, and they use their book to promote the racial ideology of the extreme left. This includes sanitizing and glorifying Amerindians, and depicting Amerindian societies as hotbeds of goodness, democracy, egalitarianism and feminism. Teachers can learn some truth about Amerindians by reading Carolyn Niethammer's fine book Daughters of the Earth: The Lives and Legends of American Indian Women. It includes a memorable account of how some Mojave Indians crucified one of their slavewomen.       "The Erasing Fields" -- The writers of America's Past and Promise are racists, and their book is loaded with overt displays of hostility toward white people. In one such display, the writers erase Sydney Schanberg from history.

"Catching Up with Glencoe and the Flashback Quacks" -- "Recovered memory" quackery has done vast damage to many individuals and families, and it has been exposed as a vicious pseudoscientific scam. Yet Glencoe/McGraw-Hill's high-school book Glencoe Health continues to disseminate "recovered memory" claptrap to students.

"Globe Fearon's 'Up-to-Date' Fake" -- Globe Fearon continues to promote and sell Concepts in Modern Biology, a fake high-school book. The book's amazingly stupid statements include the claim that "the cause of AIDS is unknown."

"Fonius Balonius" -- Addison-Wesley Biology, a high-school book, dispenses phony "history" in the form of a nonsensical story about how the 18th-century naturalist Carolus Linnaeus acquired his name. In the same book, an illustration shows an old, torn, yellowed page bearing a message that purportedly was written by the Roman poet Virgil -- but the message is in English!


from The Textbook Letter, Volume 8, Issue Number 3

Three reviews of Globe Fearon's Global Studies, a middle-school book in social studies.

Two reviews of the 1998 version of ChemCom: Chemistry in the Community, a high-school book sold by Kendall/Hunt.

Review of Essential Cell Biology, a book recommended for high-school honors courses or advanced-placement courses.

"Combating Creationism in a Louisiana School System" -- When creationists attempted to push their religious doctrines into the public schools of Livingston Parish, they promoted a bogus "curriculum guide" and devised pseudoscientific "lesson plans" linked to the textbooks that students were using in science courses. When the creationists' deceptions were exposed, the parish's science curriculum committee got the message, but that was not the end of the matter. We present a first-hand report by the woman who led the opposition to the creationists' campaign.


from The Textbook Letter, Volume 8, Issue Number 2

Two reviews of the 1997 version of Addison-Wesley's Conceptual Physics, a high-school book.

Two reviews of Saunders's Biology, a book sold for use in high-school honors courses or advanced-placement courses.

Review of the 1997 "Texas edition" of Science Insights: Exploring Matter and Energy, a middle-school book issued by Addison-Wesley.

Two reviews of Wadsworth's Oceanography: An Introduction, which is sold for use in high-school honors courses.

"A Dumbed-Down Textbook Is 'A Textbook for All Students' " -- Publishers are reluctant to say outright that their dumbed-down schoolbooks are books for dimwits and dullards, so some publishers are using a code-phrase. The phrase is all students, as in "This is a book for all students."

"All in the Family" -- Steven J. Rakow, the current president-elect of the National Science Teachers Association, is hooked up with Prentice Hall. During the past few years, Prentice Hall has produced dozens of trashy schoolbooks in which Rakow is cited as the company's "multicultural consultant."


from The Textbook Letter, Volume 8, Issue Number 1

Two reviews of Holt's Biology: Principles and Explorations, a high-school book.       "Examining Holt's Novel Nonsense" -- Though the antiquated doctrine of "nature's ladder" was definitively rejected by science in the 19th century, the writers of Holt's Biology: Principles and Explorations are still promoting it. For this purpose, they have invented fake "facts" and have fabricated a wholly imaginary, wholly nonsensical difference between amphibians and fishes.

Review of Wadsworth's Horizons: Exploring the Universe, an astronomy text recommended for use in high-school honors courses or advanced-placement courses.

Review of the 1995 version of Merrill Physical Science, a middle-school book published by Glencoe.

Review of Investigating Plants, a manual for teachers of life science, published by the National Association of BiologyTeachers.

Two reviews of Wadsworth's Essentials of Oceanography, a book sold for use in high-school honors courses.

"Delivering a Double-Whammy" -- When the writers of an American-history textbook try to tell about a Mormon religious belief, they misdescribe the belief and then they falsely call it a "theory."

"Help Has Arrived" -- The Quackwatch site on the Web will help educators to protect students from the quackish "health-care" scams that are promoted in schoolbooks.

"Wrong Again" -- Such schoolbooks as Merrill Earth Science and Holt's Biology: Principles and Explorations make evasive, misleading references to the claim that Earth is only a few thousand years old. The books don't disclose that this notion is rooted in biblical religion, not in science.

"Using Science to Expose a Scam" -- Those "defrosting trays" that are peddled on television are phony, but they aren't wholly worthless. If you teach physics or physical science, you can use a "defrosting tray" to construct a lesson that will combine thermodynamic theory, hands-on lab work and consumer education.


from The Textbook Letter, Volume 7, Issue Number 6

Reviews of West Publishing's United States History: In the Course of Human Events, a book sold for use in high schools. Our reviewers find that West's writers have loaded the book with misinformation, partisan distortion and multi-culti claptrap while excluding fundamental elements of America's story.       "The Hidden Truth" -- The writers of United States History: In the Course of Human Events attempt some Afrocentric trickery. When they pretend to tell about Africa and Europe in the time directly preceding Columbus's discovery of the New World, they tell that Timbuktu had a university -- but they hide the fact that, by 1492, there were universities in at least 60 cities of Europe.

Reviews of Wadsworth's Human Biology, a book sold for use in high-school honors courses.

"Addison-Wesley's Achievement" -- The high-school book Addison-Wesley Biology offers a noteworthy display of creationist sloganeering. In a single short passage, doubtless based on some creationist handout, Addison-Wesley's writers manage to perform three of the creationists' favorite routines.


from The Textbook Letter, Volume 7, Issue Number 5

Reviews of Holt's Chemistry: Visualizing Matter, a high-school book.

Reviews of Silver Burdett Ginn's World Cultures, a middle-school book.

Reviews of Global Science, Kendall/Hunt's environmental-science text for high schools.

"Rain-Forest Algebra and MTV Geometry" -- A parent looks at two Addison-Wesley math texts.

"Tom-Tom Tommyrot" -- How the West Publishing Company's new "history" book for high schools peddles tommyrot about Amerindians.


from The Textbook Letter, Volume 7, Issue Number 4

Review of the 1995 version of Glencoe World Geography, a high-school book.       "What About the Wizards and Witches?" -- Glencoe World Geography has a phony, sanctimonious tale about a "religious revival" in Russia. The writers don't tell that this "revival" is actually a boom in supernaturalistic and occult fancies of all kinds, including vampirism, astrology, witchcraft and exotic brands of Christianity imported from the West.

Review of Prentice Hall Exploring Earth Science, a middle-school book.

Review of the 1996 version of Addison-Wesley's Science Insights: Exploring Matter and Energy, a middle-school book.

Review of the Exploratorium Science Snackbook Series.

"The Sandman Cometh" -- Sheer nonsense in the middle-school textbook Prentice Hall Exploring Physical Science.

"Heap Big Fakers" -- The writers of Silver Burdett Ginn's middle-school textbook World Cultures peddle fake anthropology and glorify American Indians.

"Catching Up with FGM" -- Two articles will help teachers to inform students about female genital mutilation, a ritual practiced in many African societies and among African immigrants to America.


from The Textbook Letter, Volume 7, Issue Number 3

Reviews of the 1997 version of Prentice Hall World History: Connections to Today, a high-school book.

Review of Project STAR, an astronomy book recommended for high-school honors courses.

Reviews of Prentice Hall Chemistry, a high-school book.       "Dangerous Blather" -- A "Consumer Tip" in Prentice Hall Chemistry can lead students to believe the claims put forth by swindlers who practice a notorious form of quackery.

Reviews of the new version of Glencoe's Biology: The Dynamics of Life, a high-school book.

"Deep Breathing" -- Analysis of how science textbooks, seeking to preserve the discredited notion of "nature's ladder," dispense misinformation and fictions about sharks.


from The Textbook Letter, Volume 7, Issue Number 2

Review of Prentice Hall World Geography, a high-school book.

Review of J.M. LeBel's Chemistry 2000, for high schools.

Reviews of West Publishing's Street Law, a social-studies book for high schools.

Review of the 1995 version of Merrill Life Science, a middle-school book.

Review of J.M. LeBel's PHYSIC-AL: An Activity Approach to Physics, a high-school book.

"New Books for Old" -- An official of a school district in Pennsylvania says that Prentice Hall has offered compensation for hundreds of copies of a defective "science" textbook, loaded with misinformation, that the district bought from Prentice Hall two years ago.

"The Prophet's Women" -- In a new "history" book for high schools, Prentice Hall continues to promote Islam, continues to present Islamic myths as matters of fact, and leads students to believe that Muhammad had only one wife. In fact, Muhammad pursued polygamy with notable vigor. Geraldine Brooks's recent book Nine Parts of Desire describes some of Muhammad's relations with women.

"Eggs à la Dumb" -- An article in Education Week promotes a nonsensical superstition as "physics" and "ancient wisdom."

"Unilingual Education" -- The middle-school textbook Science Insights: Exploring Matter and Energy, issued by the Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, dispenses pseudohistorical nonsense.

"A Welcome Rectification" -- The National Science Teachers Association has withdrawn its endorsement of Biology Teacher's Survival Guide, an atrocious book produced by a charlatan who seeks to promote creationist nonsense and to undermine science education.

"Cranking Away in Alabama" -- Fob James, the governor of Alabama, has used state funds to distribute a "creation-science" book to public-school science teachers.

"Pakistan's Little Slaves" -- To promote the racist fantasy that Europeans alone have exploited children as laborers, the writers of a Prentice Hall schoolbook have hidden the fact that child labor, with all its evils, thrives today in such countries as India, Pakistan and Mexico. Some of the evils that Prentice Hall's writers have concealed are cogently described in Jonathan Silvers's recent article "Child Labor in Pakistan."


from The Textbook Letter, Volume 7, Issue Number 1

Reviews of Holt Environmental Science, a high-school book.

Reviews of Geography: People and Places in a Changing World, a high-school book.

Review of the 1995 version of Merrill Earth Science, a middle-school book.

Analysis of What They Say About Hunting, a "wildlife" video promoted for use in schools.

"Another Acquisition" -- Addison Wesley Longman has bought HarperCollins Educational Publishers for $580 million. Both companies produce schoolbooks and college texts.

" 'Corrective Measures' " -- Prentice Hall has conveyed $2,050 to the Millcreek Township School District (in Erie, Pennsylvania) to offset costs that the district incurred in publishing a list of some of the errors and other defects in Prentice Hall Exploring Physical Science.

"NBC's 'Science' Hoax" -- The Mysterious Origins of Man, a program that was broadcast over the NBC television network on 25 February 1996, deceived many young people and undermined the work of many science teachers. The program was a hoax, and the people whom NBC depicted as "scientists" and "investigators" were cranks.


from The Textbook Letter, Volume 6, Issue Number 6

Review of Glencoe's Biology: Living Systems, a high-school book.

Review of Garland Publishing's Molecular Biology of the Cell, recommended as a reference book for biology teachers.

Review of Heath Physics, a high-school book.

Review of the 1996 version of Science Insights: Exploring Living Things, a middle-school book sold by Addison-Wesley.

Review of the 1996 version of Wm. C. Brown's An Introduction to the Biology of Marine Life, a book sold for use in high-school honors courses.

" 'Cultural' Nonsense" -- A schoolbook published by Glencoe depicts sickle-cell anemia as a "cultural" phenomenon, but sickle-cell anemia is really a genetic aberration. Glencoe's writers evidently want to mislead students by confusing culture with race, in accordance with multi-culti ideology.

"An Examination of Disinformation" -- An article in Harper's tells how commercial organizations pay for the dissemination of false and misleading claims about global warming.


from The Textbook Letter, Volume 6, Issue Number 5

Two reviews of Wm. C. Brown's Essentials of Human Anatomy & Physiology, a book that is sold for use in high-school honors courses or advanced-placement courses.

Review of Science Insights: Exploring Matter and Energy, a middle-school book sold by Addison-Wesley.

Review of Introductory Physical Science, which Science Curriculum Inc. sells for use in grades 8 and 9.

"Alabama Will Use Schoolbooks to Spread Lies and Foster Creationism" -- Biology textbooks in Alabama's public schools will have to carry a list of religious slogans and prevarications prescribed by the State Board of Education.

"Addison-Wesley Attacks Again" -- In a new high-school textbook, the Addison-Wesley Publishing Company continues its attack on science education by trivializing science and by conflating science with superstition.

"It's Still the Same Travesty" -- D.C. Heath and Company continues to sell an old, worthless "science" book, promoting it with the claim that it is "ALL NEW."


from The Textbook Letter, Volume 6, Issue Number 4

Two reviews of Glencoe's AIDS Education, a middle-school book.

Two reviews of Science Insights: Exploring Living Things, a middle-school book sold by Addison-Wesley.

Two reviews of Wadsworth's Marine Life and the Sea, a book recommended for use in high-school honors courses.

Review of Prentice Hall Exploring Physical Science, a middle-school book.

"Promoting the Far Right's Fictions" -- As an example of the anti-scientific trash that agents of the extreme right try to inject into schools, consider this poster issued by an outfit called the National Anxiety Center. The poster is a melange of far-right political fictions, including ignorant incantations, outright lies, and an attempt to brand environmental organizations as Marxist conspiracies.


from The Textbook Letter, Volume 6, Issue Number 3

Two reviews of Wm. C. Brown's Biology of Animals, a book recommended for use in high-school honors courses.

Review of the 1996 version of D.C. Heath's Biological Science: A Molecular Approach, a high-school book.

Review of Wadsworth's Environmental Science: Working with the Earth, a book recommended for use in high-school honors courses.

Two reviews of It's the Law!, a high-school social-studies book published by Volcano Press.

"Concentrated Hokum and Standard Malarkey" -- Holt pretends that its new biology book matches "the new National Science Education Standards," even though the standards haven't been published yet!

"Good Field Work" -- Writing in Scientific American Science & Medicine, a physicist discredits the pseudoscience and spooky nonsense surrounding claims that electromagnetic fields cause cancers.

"More About Bone-Benders" -- An article in Woman's Day exposes chiropractic quackery and tells how some chiropractors have used public schools for recruiting victims.


from The Textbook Letter, Volume 6, Issue Number 2

Review of the 1996 version of Prentice Hall's World Cultures: A Global Mosaic, a social-studies book for high schools.

Two reviews of Peoples and Places in World History, a two-book series for middle schools, published by Delos Publications.

Two reviews of Global Insights: People and Cultures, a high-school book issued by Glencoe.

Review of Wm. C. Brown's Environmental Science: A Global Concern, a book sold for use in high-school honors courses.

"Addison-Wesley Extends the Quack Attack" -- An Addison-Wesley "science" text seems to mark a new phase in the business of using schoolbooks for peddling quackery.


from The Textbook Letter, Volume 6, Issue Number 1

Two reviews of Wm. C. Brown's Environmental Science: A Study of Interrelationships, a book recommended for use in high-school honors courses.

Two reviews of Human Heritage: A World History, a high-school book sold by Glencoe.       "Where Did Slavery Come From?" -- Glencoe's Human Heritage: A World History presents highly misleading passages about the African slave trade, inducing students to believe that it was initiated by Europeans. False beliefs about slavery are evidently popular, but promoting such beliefs in history books is a serious disservice to students.

Three reviews of Glencoe Health, a high-school book.




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