Lies Your Textbooks Tell You About Irish-American History

Portland teacher Bill Bigelow breaks it down.

You’re probably wearing green and pining for a Guinness right about now. That’s cool. Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

But Bill Bigelow, a master educator in Portland who taught at Franklin and Jefferson high schools for years, wants you to honor Irish Americans in a different way.

Bigelow, curriculum editor for Rethinking Schools magazine, this week penned an eye-opening article for the Zinn Education Project on the Irish potato famine—and the misinformation U.S. textbooks tell students about the largest wave of Irish immigration in U.S. history. (The project honors the late Howard Zinn, the historian who wrote A People’s History of the United States.)