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When judging textbooks, well thought-out objections put you on the attack and foes on the defensive. Our standard review criteria give you this edge. They also help rank textbooks fairly.
Below are a few of our standard review criteria for high school World
History textbooks. This is not a comprehensive course outline, but a list of what textbooks often censor on major topics.
Prevent stereotypes of whites-as-oppressors and people-of-color-as-victims from slanting discussions of Western imperialism by noting that:
- Some sub-Saharan African peoples practiced human sacrifice (e.g., Ashanti, Dahomey). The
Aztecs and some other New World Indians engaged in cannibalism as well as human sacrifice.
In the Columbian exchange, infection was a two-way street. A very lethal strain of syphilis, probably from America, killed many Europeans in the early 1500s.
Only the Christian West realized slavery was wrong and took the lead in abolishing it.
Manchu China was as culturally arrogant as the West. Chinese emperors viewed all foreign traders as barbarian bearers of tribute to whom
they wished only to sell, not to buy, demanding payment in silver.
The West demanded "extraterritoriality" because Chinese justice assumed guilt until proven innocent, used torture to extract
confessions, and held whole groups responsible for acts of single members.
British rule brought peace and a common language (English) to deeply divided India, ended or opposed suttee, infanticide, and
child marriage there, improved Indian health, education, and transportation systems, and merely added another caste to the existing system.