The Clare Spark Blog

January 1, 2020

The culture war over US and World History Standards

Filed under: Uncategorized — clarelspark @ 3:06 pm

https://www.hepg.org/her-home/issues/harvard-educational-review-volume-69-issue-2/herbooknote/history-on-trial_160. The culture war over the teaching of US History or World History has been much worse than anything in the art world. This blog tries to tease out the major issues in that still heated war.

First, the history wars polarized liberals and conservatives, although “soft Marxist” Gary Nash (with whom I studied at UCLA) was probably pushed to “moderation” by his collaborators.

Nash knew about antisemitism but limited it to “the Holocaust” and “The Emergence of the Jews” as a relic of the classical period (World History) As a social democrat (which incorporates populism) he avoided all talk about “the money power, as did his Stalinist colleague (my advisor Alexander Saxton).”

As expected, Nash, a veteran of the 1960s, emphasized class, race and gender (see https://clarespark.com/2011/03/26/race-class-and-gender/.) His book, Red, White and Black, but both Standards were focused on globalism, racial minorities, particularly blacks, Indians, and Latin Americans, Africans, Chinese, and Mexicans. In general, the Standards were way too advanced for most young folks and advanced students, even me. Like many other leftists, Nash’s book deploys a discourse of melodrama and multiculturalism throughout. (See https://clarespark.com/2013/08/09/melodrama-and-its-appeal/.)

Finally, throughout his book (History On Trial, 1997), Nash (along with Charlotte Crabtree and Ross Dunn) emphasizes that he will not elevate Western civilization above other cultures. This too is globalism.

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