Under the aegis of Education and Research Institute, Stan Evans published two major books on communism: Blacklisted by History and Stalin’s Secret Agents. No discussion of communists in the U.S. government is worth listening to if the discussants haven’t read Stan’s books. They are a major achievement in U.S. history writing, and they are, almost certainly, the final words on the subject.
But there can be no finality on the writing or teaching of American history in general. That history is always “up for grabs.” And so the Directors of ERI have decided to embark on an American history project.
We want to do something about the biased teaching of American history in the country’s high schools. One of Stan’s greatest books was his American history book, The Theme Is Freedom. It should be read by every high school student. It is not.
The most widely used American history textbook in American high schools used to be Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States. Howard Zinn was a communist, and not, unfortunately, the under-the-bed kind, but the kind that makes trouble, which in Zinn’s case included messing up people’s understanding of history. Zinn, who died not a moment too soon in 2010, influenced generations of American high school students. Zinn’s book has now been supplanted by several others, but the new books also present Zinn’s classic left-wing interpretation of American history: decades and decades of exploitation and discrimination by privileged upper classes. Who knew? That’s rubbish, of course, but how are students supposed to know that?
We asked Burt Folsom of Hillsdale College to go through, first, one of the most widely-used textbooks, page by page, section-by-section, and critique it. When he had finished, we put that critique up on our website where parents and students can find out what the problem is with what the textbook says on any given page or section: what content is biased, and how; and what was omitted.
It is one of our goals to do the same for other biased American history textbooks. That should be easier because we can use, probably, much of the same copy. We think this is such a good idea that we are surprised no one has done it before. We hope others will steal our idea and do likewise.
The history of America’s long struggle with the Soviet Union, which ended with its collapse in 1991, was often poorly understood at the time, and remains so today. Long-classified documents shed important light on the many dimensions of the struggle, and ERI’s Center for Security Research was founded in 1988 to provide a collection point for historical data on the Cold War.
A key collection of information is the Silvermaster File, containing more than 26,000 pages of documents relating to the FBI’s investigation of the penetration of U.S. Government agencies during the Cold War. The Education and Research Institute has obtained much of the file’s contents through the Freedom of Information Act, and makes it available here, for the use of historians and researchers seeking a fuller and more complete understanding of Soviet espionage in the United States.