but she offers no real alternative. Hernonly notion of what to do is a vague convictionnthat women ought to run thenworld. She will not concede that women,ntoo, are subject to human emotions likengreed or envy; there is, in her eyes, nonwickedness in womankind. Whatevernevidence there may be of such transgressionsnFrench blames on the malenpower structure to which women mustnaccommodate themselves. Men are thenonly corrupters—this is the pointnFrench hammers at with all the delicacynof a wrecking ball. Anyone who disagreesnwith her cannot “see.” She, ofncourse, “sees” clearly—far beyond equalnjob opportunities or egalitarian marriages,ndown to the core of the quintessentialnman-woman relationship. Shenfiercely denies the very substance ofnthe notion of relationship itself, the instinctive,ntimeless trade-offs for powernand privileges in which sometimes onenhas the advantage, sometimes the other.nFor her, only half of humanity evernsuffers. DnSquanto the Eurocentric or thenGreat Liberal Textbook MuddlenFrances FitzGerald: America Revised;nAtlantic-Little, Brown & Co.;nBoston, Toronto.nby Alan J. LevinenFrances FitzGerald’s America Revisednclaims to be a study of thentreatment of American history in 20thcenturyntextbooks. Unfortunately, Fitz­nGerald’s ignorance of American historynmake this book more a study in confusion,nideological blinkers and contradictionsnthan anything else. FitzGeraldnfrequently misrepresents the nature ofnthe books she discusses and deliversntendentious judgments based on a lacknof learning, or just the projection ofncurrent attitudes about the past.nThe basic thesis of America Revisednis that during the 20th century, textbooksnhave largely failed to present anconsistent or truthful picture of Americannhistory, while their ability to interestnor attract children has declined. Insteadnof basing themselves on a coherentmuchnless correct—historical view ofnour society, textbooks have bouncednback and forth under the influence ofnoften-silly pressure groups and a rela-nDr. Levine is a frequent contributor tonthese pages.ntively few states and school districtsnwith disproportionate control over thentextbook market. In general, textbooksnpresented a fashionable liberal view innthe 1930’s, shifted to the right in then1940’s under pressure from the NationalnAssociation of Manufacturers, becamenextremely conservative and downrightnchauvinistic in the 1950’s, hurtlednto the left in the 1960’s and, more recently,nhave moved again to the rightnunder pressure from the “back-tobasics”nmovement.nIn fact, it is a bit difficult to findnjustification for this view. Since then1930’s both the historical and teachingnprofessions have been dominated bynliberals. (FitzGerald herself cites resolutionsnwhich indicate that the NationalnEducation Association has been dominatednby liberals at least since the earlyn20th century; moreover, since then1960’s, the N.E.A. has openly denigratednthe importance of scholarship,nviewing history and social studies as anninstrument for social change.) Thoughntextbook writers are rarely consciousnpropagandists, this liberal dominationnhas been reflected in the nature of thentextbooks that have been published. Althoughnneither conservatives nor thennew left have ever made much of a dentnin the textbook market, marketing con­nnnsiderations and prudence have occasionallynrestrained the free expressionnof views in textbooks. Until recently,nfor example, no one could have sold antextbook in the South which realisticallyndepicted racial matters. Moreover, thenviewpoint of liberals has shifted. However,nit would be erroneous to considernthe textbook business as simply an ideologicalnbattlefield.nIt should also be noted that AmericanRevised is far from being as all-embracingnin its coverage as it pretends to be.nThomas A. Bailey’s popular textbook,nwhich was used in New York City highnschools for at least a decade, is not listednor mentioned at all. This, as an example,nshould not be surprising, since Bailey’snwork does not fit many of the stereotypesnFitzGerald tries to construct.nIn evaluating the viewpoints expressednin textbooks, FitzGerald is oftennhopelessly at sea. She confuses populismnwith the progressive movement, althoughnthey were separate developmentsnwith different attitudes and social bases.nShe describes Robert LaFoUette as anpopulist, while in fact he was a progressive.nShe refers to the “supposed ‘missilengap’ of the early Kennedy era,” althoughnthe missile-gap issue was reallyna phenomenon of the last years of thenEisenhower administration. We are toldnthat in 1913 the textbook writer WillisnMason West “faced the fact” that in thenlate 19th century “great multitudes werenworse off than any considerable portionnof society in earlier times,” but thisnis not a fact at all. In one place Fitz­nGerald approvingly cites Richard Hofstadter’sndubious theory that the progressivesnwere really “thorough-goingnreactionaries” beneath the skin, motivatednby status envy rather than reformingnzeal. Yet, elsewhere she impliesnthat they were far more radical thannthey appeared, claiming that their goaln”was not just to purge society of corruptionnbut to liberate it from thendominion of the past—to put an end tonthe respect for established tradition andnto the Victorian culture of filial piety.n•HHHHHM^lnJuly/August 1080n