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The American Vision: Errors in the Textbook

We have begun to match the content of textbooks to pages in U-S-History.com. Our first textbook is American Vision: Modern Times, by Glencoe/McGraw-Hill. It`s not an advanced text and we assumed it would be accurate.

However, before long we ran across the following statement regarding the U.S. Constitution: "In order to keep the branches separate, no one serving in one branch could serve in the other branches at the same." No only does the Constitution not say this, it does say that the Vice-President is the President of the Senate, putting him in two branches.

We brought this to the attention of the lead author, Joyce Appleby, PhD, by email and got no response. As we were waiting, we ran across another statement about the Fuel Administration during World War I: "To conserve energy, [Harry] Garfield introduced daylight savings time ..." It would have been beyond the ability of a single administrator to change the clocks throughout the country. Daylight savings time was introduced by a joint act of Congress, by whom it was also repealed in 1919.

Now we had two errors, so we wrote to McGraw-Hill in Columbus OH, pointing them out. We have not heard anything and the list continues to grow. The previous two were clearcut but relatively minor. The next one represent a judgment contrary to fact. Discussing the early problems of the woman suffrage movement, the text opines: "Many of its supporters were abolitionists, as well. In the years before the Civil War, abolishing slavery took priority."

It would be nice if everyone who supported each of the rights we now hold dear had supported all the others at the time. But before the Civil War, abolitionism was like all other male-led movements. When Elizabeth Cady Stanton attended the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London in 1840, she discovered that women delegates received no official standing and women were not allowed to address the assembly. Abolitionists were no feminists-in-waiting.

Rather than list more ourselves, we would like readers to suggest their own discoveries. These can be sent to editor@u-s-history.com. We`ll need to confirm what you say and with only a handful of actual textbooks available, we`d appreciate your including as much surrounding information as possible to we can verify it. What we find, we`ll add to this page, if it`s about American Vision. If it`s another book, we`ll start another page. Unfortunately, despite the large number of PhD`s listed as editors, there are probably quite a few mistakes in other textbooks as well.