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Widely Adopted History

Senate Testimony
Review Guidelines
Islam in the Classroom
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The American Textbook Council is an independent non-profit research organization established in 1989 to review history textbooks. Its many publications and reports, from History Textbooks: A Standard and Guide (1994) to Islam in the Classroom (2008), provide authoritative history textbook reviews and topical commentary in social studies.

The Council is not a trade association or commercial enterprise. The Council does not represent textbook publishers or editors. It does not sell textbooks or instructional materials. It is not a political agency or advocacy organization. The Council is dedicated solely to textbook analysis, review, studies and evaluations. Its chief concerns have included the integrity of the humanities curriculum, multiculturalism, history standards, textbook accuracy, and teaching the history of religions. Working with educators on a one-to-one basis, the Council helps schools make better decisions about the social studies textbooks they use. The Council maintains an instructional website,, a project for the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Since 1989, the Council has been active in many topical exchanges about social studies textbooks and the curriculum. It has made repeated efforts to educate the nation about the multiculturalism and contain it as a ruling idea in history, social studies, and humanities curricula. The Council's studies demonstrate that some textbooks are satisfactory and others are not, and they give detailed reasons why. Many of these reports are available on this website at

The Council endorses textbooks that embody vivid narrative style, stress significant people and events, and promote better understanding of all cultures, including our own nation’s, on the principle that improved textbooks will advance the curriculum, stimulate student learning, contribute to civic welfare, and encourage educational achievement for children of all backgrounds.

American Textbook Council director Gilbert T. Sewall is the author of Necessary Lessons: Decline and Renewal in American Schools and the co-author of After Hiroshima: The U.S.A. since 1945. Sewall is editor of The Eighties: A Reader. His articles on education have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, American Educator, and many other publications. He is a former history instructor at Phillips Academy, Andover, and education editor at Newsweek magazine. He has been on the adjunct faculties of New York University and Boston University, and a research associate at Teachers College, Columbia University. He was a Kenan Fellow at the American Academy in Rome and a Fellow of the National Humanities Center.

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