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Samman. Professors Gezi and Samman not only assisted us immeasurably in identifying and obtaining the Egyptian selection, but also translated it from Arabic.
With regard to the selection from Israel, we are grateful to Prof. Randolph Braham of the City University of New York and author of this Office's publication, “Israel: A Modern Education System” (1966), and to Dean Nathaniel Katzburg and Dr. Chaim Genizi of Bar Ilan University in Israel for identifying and procuring an appropriate text.
Concerning the Japanese selection, we are particularly indebted to Mr. Isao Yamada and Mr. Seiichi Ogawa of the Japanese Embassy in Washington, D.C., and to Mr. Shigeo Miyamoto of the Ministry of Education in Japan. We also wish to thank Mr. Key K. Kobayashi of the Japanese Section, Orientalia Division of the Library of Congress, for translating the selection.
With respect to the selection from the People's Republic of China, we are especially appreciative of the assistance provided by Mr. Ivan Izenberg, Public Affairs Officer at the American Consulate General in Hong Kong, who alerted us to the material and procured for us a copy of the book from which it is taken.
In connection with the selection from India, we owe special thanks to Prof. Surgit Mansingh of the American University in Washington, D.C., and to Mr. Inam Rahman, Minister for Education and Science at the Indian Embassy in Washington. In New Delhi we received generous help from Mr. P.D. Poplai, Executive Secretary of the Educational Resources Center of the New York State Education Department, and the staff of the Ministry of Education's National Council of Educational Research and Training.
We are especially grateful to Mr. John Coope, Assistant Attaché (education of the British Embassy in Washington, D.C., for his good offices in facilitating our communication with British officials concerning an appropriate selection to represent Great Britain; we are also indebted to the British Council, which supplied us with the book finally chosen for our purpose.
All translations not specifically mentioned were done by the U.S. Joint Publications Research Service, Arlington, Va.
For Americans reflecting on the significance of the American Revolution during the Bicentennial commemoration, it can be both interesting and instructive to consider how the Revolution is viewed by other peoples. One promising approach is to examine the way the Revolution is treated in history books in the secondary schools of other nations.
Texts at the secondary rather than the higher education level were chosen because secondary schools reach a much larger proportion of the population than do higher educational institutions, and because secondary schools within a given country usually present a more nearly standardized version of historical subject matter than is found in the more sophisticated and disparate materials used in colleges and universities. While resources were not available to undertake a comprehensive survey of the relevant material used in secondary schools in all nations, selections were compiled from 13 nations, including at least one leading country from each of the principal regions of the world. These selections were taken from history books that are widely used in their countries of origin.
Each selection is identified as to source and grade level, and is rendered in English translation when, as in most instances, the original is in another language. The presentation format follows that of the original as closely as feasible, with the pattern of headings and the original paragraphing retained. In the few instances in which reproduction of illustrations, maps, and diagrams in the original selection was practical and the substance sufficiently important, such material has been reproduced. All other graphics are represented in blue print, with the nature of the material indicated in boldface, and the caption and any additional commentary accompanying the item in the original rendered in italics. In order to preserve, insofar as practicable, not only a selection's original format but also its style, the translated material has not been polished into smoother forms of expression in English. Also, so that the texts may speak for themselves without undue interruption, compilers' notes and interpolations have been limited to the bare minimum necessary for clarity, and no attempt has been made to point out or correct factual errors in the selections.
In translated selections, extensive quotations from an American document (e.g., the Declaration of Independence) have been copied directly from the original English-language document to avoid the altered wording that sometimes emerges when a historical document is translated into a foreign language and then subsequently rendered back into the original language by a different translator.
Most of the selections cover events outside a narrowly defined time frame for the Revolutionary War (i.e., events that occurred before or after the period from the outset of the war in 1775 to the Peace Treaty of 1783). The reason for this is usually to be found in the original presentation from which the selection was drawn. In many instances, the section of the original source that was relevant for the purposes of this project covered not only the important events of the 1760's and early 1770's that are essential to understanding the more immediate causes of the conflict, but also some background material summarizing the development of colonization in North America from the beginning of the 17th century. In addition, the relevant section usually carried the narrative forward to cover the establishment of the Federal Government under the Constitution of 1787, and in a few cases encompassed some aspects of the period up to and somewhat beyond 1800.
Readers of this collection-particularly teachers and students-may find it interesting to (1) compare the differing interpretations of the significance of the events described; (2) note aspects that are included or omitted, emphasized or played down; (3) detect factual inaccuracies; (4) identify the parts of a selection that reflect the special perspectives of the country in which it is used; and (5) use the tutorial questions at the end of some selections to compare their knowledge of this period of American history with that expected of foreign secondary school students.
Finally, it should be noted that although the selection from each country is believed to be representative of the approach to the American Revolution in that country's secondary school history books, the selections as a group cannot properly be used in and of themselves as a basis for qualitative comparisons of secondary studies in the countries represented in the collection.