Jim Loewen

Sociologist James W. Loewen is the author of Lies My Teacher Told Me.

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  • How 20th Century: Going to the Library to Get a Book

    by James W Loewen

    "Our grandchildren, having grown used to nature-deficit-disorder, having adjusted to a society without civic acts, having abandoned face-to-face interaction even when face to face, won't even know what this essay is about."

  • Let Our Seniors Go

    by James W Loewen

    Our prisons bulge with too many old people, mostly black, put there with too long prison terms, for violent crimes like murder and rape.

  • The CIA Has a Museum?

    by James W Loewen

    The CIA never tells about it, but one of their own confirmed it. It's a mystery worthy of the agency.

  • Scalping Columbus

    by James W Loewen

    "Some of my stories are total fabrications disguised as the truth."--Fortunate Eagle

  • Revising the SAT To Make It Even Worse

    by James W Loewen

    Happily, the Educational Testing Service (ETS) - the folks who bring us the SAT - have heard the increasing protests against their product. But ...

  • Wabash Cannonball

    by James W Loewen

    "Wabash Cannonball" is a light-hearted yet serious country-music song. It celebrates a train that went past my house at the southern edge of Decatur, Illinois, throughout my childhood. Maybe for that reason, my father bought Roy Acuff’s recording of it shortly after Columbia’s invention of the “LP” (long-playing record). I’ve heard this song since about 1950. I sang it myself – in public – in 2009. Now, I cannot get it out of my head.

    Remembering Mark Twain’s famous short story "Punch, Brothers, Punch!", about the man who could not get a catchy jingle out of his head until he infected another person with it, in desperation, I turn to you. In the process of my passing the "Wabash Cannonball" on to you, we might enjoy a little railroad history together, perhaps a sort of baseball story, and even a bit of economic history from the 1890s.

    Like several other railroads, the Wabash connected Chicago to St. Louis. It also went to Detroit and Kansas City. Perhaps its #2 claim to fame (after the song) was that its freight trains went fast, often averaging 55 and even 60 MPH. On many other railroads, then and now, freight trains trundle(d) along at 40 or even 20 MPH.


  • The Nature (or is it Nurture) of Color

    by James W Loewen

    Years ago, when I was teaching sociology at the University of Vermont, a colleague introduced me to a classroom exercise that he found useful for showing students gender differences.
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