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An Analysis Of “America Revised”

925 words - 4 pages

The reform of history textbook has always been a growing concern. In her “America Revised: A History of Schoolbooks in the twentieth century,” Frances Fitzgerald reveals that history books are updated but modified substantially to comply with the national interest at the time. Fitzgerald’s argument is slightly biased and some pieces of evidence are not sufficient or might even be far-fetched. However, she successfully conveys her argument through comprehensively contrasting the current history books for children with histories of the fifties using various rhetorical devices and plentiful examples.
Overall, her argument is thorough and persuasive except sort of one-sided and not entirely ...view middle of the document...

From my point of view, it is reasonable for the current books to include the social problems. Since the society becomes much more complicated with time and the history textbooks have to reflect the truth, these kinds of changes are inevitable. 反映的多少问题It is also possible that the histories of the fifties did not reflect the true history of that time in order to maintain their unity, because there must be some social problems at that time, maybe less than today but they did exist. The involvement of social problems at least is not a negative change of history books. However, it is the miscellaneous pedagogical approach of current books matched with the diverse politics that cause the problems, as Fitzgerald also mentioned.
However, on the whole these flaws are trivial and do not put Fitzgerald off track. The use of various rhetorical devices, abundant examples and ingenious vocabulary makes her argument very powerful and irrefutable.
The most prominent rhetorical device through Fitzgerald’s article is contrast. She comprehensively contrasts the current texts with the histories of the fifties in matter of politics, pedagogy and even physical appearance where they have significant differences. These contrasts make the changes of history books more distinct. In addition, the use of antonyms to describe the characteristics of these kinds of books makes the contrast starker. For example, she portrays that the histories of the fifties were ‘implacable’, ‘seamless’ and ‘self-contained’ while the current books are ‘a tangle of problems’ and ‘follow no pattern of orthodoxy’ (21). Her argument is conveyed successfully through the contrast. The contrast says it all.
Examples play a very important role in her argument and are the fundamental materials of her essay. To avoid illustrating the changes of children’s history books too narrowly, she gives evidence of...

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