James W. Loewen taught race relations for twenty years at the University of Vermont. Previously he taught at predominantly black Tougaloo College in Mississippi. He now lives in Washington, DC, continuing his research on how Americans remember their past, and gives workshops for teacher groups around the United States.
His gripping retelling of American history as it should and could be taught, Lies My Teacher Told Me, has sold more than 1,100,000 copies and continues to inspire K–16 teachers to get students to challenge, rather than memorize, their textbooks. It won the American Book Award and the Oliver Cromwell Cox Award for Distinguished Anti-Racist Scholarship. Lies Across America: What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong came out in 1999. The Gustavus Myers Foundation named his new book, Sundown Towns, a “Distinguished Book of 2005.”
His other books include Mississippi: Conflict and Change (coauthored), which won the Lillian Smith Award for Best Southern Nonfiction but was rejected for public school text use by the State of Mississippi, leading to the path-breaking First Amendment lawsuit, Loewen et al. v. Turnipseed et al. He also wrote The Mississippi Chinese: Between Black and White, Social Science in the Courtroom, and The Truth About Columbus.
He has been an expert witness in more than 50 civil rights, voting rights, and employment cases. His awards include the First Annual Spivack Award of the American Sociological Association for “sociological research applied to the field of intergroup relations” and Fulbright and Smithsonian fellowships. He is also Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians.