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Cross post: Disturbing ideology in Guest Hollow Whirlwind World History curriculum


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A word of warning re: Guest Hollow's Whirlwind World History curriculum. We were initially happy with it. The program accurately covered history through the 19th century. After that it went off the rails and started using videos spouting nationalist ideology (while, of course, claiming not to be racist). 

My husband took notes from several recent lessons and I'm copying some below. 

Students are asked to watch a Prager U video called "Why You Should Be a Nationalist." Quotes from that video: 

- "Nationalism is NOT about racism."

- Nationalists in American are known as "The Deplorables" because nationalists think "Good borders make good neighbors."

- Nationalists "want to preserve the way of life they and their ancestors built up over centuries."

- The idea of nationalism "first appears in the Bible where Moses gives borders to Israel and tells the Jews 'You'll be punished if you trouble your neighbors.'"

- Nationalists are the opposite of Nazis who were imperialist.

- "For nearly 400 years the principle of national independence served as the foundation for a better freer world, but WW1 and WW2 changed everything.  Traumatized by these catastrophic conflicts, many now seek comfort in a simplistic narrative ceaselessly repeated that nationalism caused two world wars and the Holocaust.  This is one of the great untruths of our times.  Adolf Hitler was no nationalist."

- "Nationalism is making a comeback.  If you care about freedom, you should hope it succeeds."

Students are asked to watch a Ben Shapiro video called "Conservatism Vs. Classical Liberalism." Highlights:


   - Started with a desire to help American, Irish, and Indian people (!)

   - Is based on the Bible's view of separating nations

   - Is the best and most "free" tradition and focuses on loving that tradition


   - Started when self-proclaimed "smart" people decided how other people should live

   - Quote from commentator mocking liberals: "My brain is *so* smart.  I know the universal truth . I know the answers for all countries for all time..."

   - Commentator responding to his strawman argument about liberals thinking they are smart: "...this leads to imperialism.  This leads to all sorts of terrible wars.  And internally, it can also lead to oppression."

   - Liberals do not know what a border is

   - Liberals do not know "There are mutual loyalties that pull tribes together and pull nations together...So they just flood the country with people with a different national tradition...That's disturbing to me."

Students are asked to watch a Prager U video called "Is Fascism Right or Left?" and are told:

- "Fascism is a form of socialism."

- "Fascists are socialists with a national identity."

- Fascism was created by a liberal named Giovanni Gentile and "Historians, most of whom are on the political left, had to erase [Gentile] from history in order to avoid confronting fascism's actual beliefs. [Gentile's] philosophy could not be more relevant because it closely parallels that of the modern left. Leftists can't acknowledge their man Gentile because that would undermine their attempt to bind conservatism to fascism...but we should remember or the ghost of fascism will continue to haunt us."

And finally, this was actually most disturbing to me: In the student workbook, students are asked to create their own book cover for Mein Kampf. (According to an email sent to another poster by the author of the workbook, this exercise has been removed as of tonight, April 22.)

Inaccurate, biased, pro-nationalism, anti-immigrant. Not cool.

Original post: 


Edited by MercyA
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  • MercyA changed the title to Cross post: Disturbing ideology in Guest Hollow Whirlwind World History curriculum
  • 2 weeks later...
21 minutes ago, AngelaR said:

Ugh ugh ugh…I just bought their geography curriculum…I don’t want to support these people any further!!

Consider reading this other version of this same thread on the Chat Board, also posted by MercyA (and linked by her at the end of her post above), which had much discussion, and provided some interesting perspectives, but most of all, one of the creators of the curriculum (board member @jenn&charles), kindly responded to concerns raised. Here is the link to the post by Jennifer in that thread. If you can, I would recommend reading through the whole thread, as there were some thoughtful and varying points of view raised.

I think it is only fair and reasonable to hear straight from the program author before making a judgment based on one person's post, and their quoting of just one or just a few random assignments in a year-long program, without providing context or showing what other assignments are like.

And, you may absolutely still decide that the perspective is not a fit for you. But at least you had the opportunity to make an informed decision, rather than a decision in response to a single person's post. 😉

Just my 2 cents worth. 😉

Edited by Lori D.
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@Lori D., thanks for linking the longer discussion.  It was very enlightening and helpful.  I see I was not alone in my initial reaction.  It was also helpful to hear from the author of the curriculum.  I think she could use better sources in her treatment of this topic, if indeed the aim is to educate vs indoctrinate.  

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