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Textbooks Soft on Soviets, U.S. Official Charges

January 16, 1986|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A Reagan Administration official complained Wednesday to U.S. publishers that their textbooks are "hypercritical of American institutions" while "glossing over" the faults of the Soviet Union and other totalitarian governments.

Gary L. Bauer, the undersecretary of education, said he was not asking the publishers to tailor their history texts to "the policy positions of this Administration or any other."

"But they also should not read as if they were written by neutrals in the struggle between freedom and slavery," Bauer said.

The textbooks "are quick to be hypercritical of American institutions, while glossing over the intrinsic character of totalitarian governments," Bauer said.

A Houghton Mifflin Co. executive took exception to Bauer's words. "We seriously question any argument that urges American publishers to become the counterparts of the authors of Soviet teachers' manuals," said Marlowe Teig, who heads the executive committee of the Assn. of American Publishers school division.

"How would we be different from the authors and publishers in the U.S.S.R. who advocate communism?" Teig asked.

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