Life and cultural expectations in East Texas continue to promote segregation in both personal and social relationships. Although white supremacist marches like the one in Charlottesville grip American headlines, neo-Nazis and Klansmen supporting the same doctrine in the open are not uncommon behind the Pine Curtain.
By his own admission, film creator Gottlieb was able to spend most of his life in Silver Spring shielded from the community’s past that included widespread discrimination in the community’s businesses, public buildings, and housing. Even after completing the film, Gottlieb appears to have learned little about the substantial role racism played in shaping his community.
The American Vision falls short of many important historiographical trends. Political history, or more accurately Presidential history, is important for students to learn—our democratic government operates (or is at least supposed to) on a legalistic basis. But history is a discipline that at its best seeks to understand the human experience. It studies human beings doing things. A more comprehensive textbook would necessitate more space be given to history “from the bottom up.”
In an interpretive sense, the authors maintain an admirable focus on the history of technological innovation and its environmental impact, and include substantive discussions of economic principles and theories; their willingness to discuss the influence of Communism and Socialism on American history is particularly impressive.