America’s Historical Illiteracy by Walter C. Uhler

by Walter C. Uhler
Guest Writer
Dandelion Salad
27 April 2011

A Review of The Future of History, by John Lukacs

“To be ignorant of what happened before you were born is to remain a child always.” Cicero

In 2008 Common Core published a study by Frederick M. Hess which examined the knowledge of history and literature possessed by 17 year-old high school students in the United States. The results were depressing. Less than half of the 1,200 students questioned were able to identify the Renaissance or even the infamous Senator Joseph McCarthy. Only 50% could explain why the Federalist Papers were written and fewer than half could correctly identify the half century in which the Civil War was fought. More than one fourth of these students believed that Christopher Columbus sailed for the New World sometime after 1750.

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