(2015) Modern World History, 9th grade Teacher Edition Year: 2013 by KOF

Review Template


Author: __Holt McDougal______________________            Publisher:  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing______________________

Publication Title: Modern World History, 9th grade Teacher Edition Year:  _2013____

Reviewer: __Keith Flaugh_– Collier County___________________

Problem: Bias (B), Omission of Fact (OF), Half-Truth (HT), Factual Error (FE)


  Page #/Line # Quote/themes Problem Fact & Source
1. First 105 pages Describes the correlation of FL Next Generation Sunshine State Standards in detail. Included are over 25 pages “Spotlight: Islam roots in SW Asia, Europe and Africa.”

The section on geography strangely focuses on Florida Government.

B, History is history. Yet there is minimal footnoting leaving most content presented as fact  but in reality opinion based.


Many on-line references link to other opinions not source documents







2. Section on American Revolution  

The most portions of the book were the sections on the American Revolution and Founding Principles. In the discussion of the Articles of Confederation, the commentary distorts the extensive back and forth between the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists
-no mention of the 13 colonies declaring their independence as  13 independent Nation States, each with powers of the other nations states of Britain, France, etc.

-no mention of the US Constitution being a legal document that created the federal government

-No mention that the federal government was a product of this legal compact and not a signer or ratifier of the compact.
-No mention that this legal compact delegated only 18 well-defined and very limited powers in Article 1, sec 8

– Minimal mention of the extensive debates that led to the Bill of Rights and particularly why we have a 9th and 10th amendment.
– Grossly miss-represented the Federalist position

Stating “ colonial leaders eventually recognized the need for a strong national government” –Not true- our Constitution was carefully crafted to limit federal government powers!





















-Further makes wrong statements about freedom:examples- “Laws protect freedom”, “Laws ensure security”
-No discussion of the fundamental differences between a democracy and our Constitutional Republic- in fact often declares us to be a democracy

– A much distorted perspective of our Electoral College. It is the last vestige of our Constitutional Republic. To eliminate it, turns us into a democracy where popular vote rules. This does not protect individual rights of the minority and the brilliant balance of power built into our Constitution by our Founders.





B, This Book completely fails to address the requirements of FS 1003.42


a) The history and content of the Declaration of Independence, including national sovereignty, natural law, self-evident truth, equality of all persons, limited government, popular sovereignty, and inalienable rights of life, liberty, and property, and how they form the philosophical foundation of our government.

(b) The history, meaning, significance, and effect of the provisions of the Constitution of the United States and amendments thereto, with emphasis on each of the 10 amendments that make up the Bill of Rights and how the constitution provides the structure of our government.

(c) The arguments in support of adopting our republican form of government, as they are embodied in the most important of the Federalist Papers.

(d) Flag education, including proper flag display and flag salute.

(e) The elements of civil government, including the primary functions of and interrelationships between the Federal Government, the state, and its counties, municipalities, school districts, and special districts.

(f) The history of the United States, including the period of discovery, early colonies, the War for Independence, the Civil War, the expansion of the United States to its present boundaries, the world wars, and the civil rights movement to the present. American history shall be viewed as factual, not as constructed, shall be viewed as knowable, teachable, and testable, and shall be defined as the creation of a new nation based largely on the universal principles stated in the Declaration of Independence.


-No mention of Bastiat’s “The Law” and the balanced view that laws are coercive in fact, sometimes necessary for the good of the community, but nevertheless coercive, requiring some level of delegating one’s rights.

-All constitutional scholars and citizens paying attention know we are a Constitutional republic. A Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.”


The key difference between a democracy and a republic lies in the limits placed on government by the law, which has implications for minority rights. Both forms of government tend to use a representational system where citizens vote to elect politicians to represent their interests and form the government. However, in a republic, a constitution or charter of rights protects certain inalienable rights that cannot be taken away by the government, even if it has been elected by a majority of voters. In a “pure democracy,” the majority is not restrained in this way and can impose its will on the minority.



Additional issues in this textbook


  Page #/Line # Quote/themes Problem Fact & Source
3. Beginning Page 293 Industrialization created many dirty, unsafe and dangerous jobs; factory workers were overworked and underpaid {victims}. Did acknowledge housing, diets and clothing improved but no mention of relationship to “free markets and capitalism”.  Perpetuating the notion that governments are the good guys and industry and businesses are the enemy.
“Industrialization widened the wealth gap and lead to imperialism”
Section full of B, OF, HT  

No Factual references /footnotes of source materials presented, All opinion of the authors.









4. Beginning page 331 Study of Darwin’s theory of evolution

Very biased section and Darwin’s conclusions presented as fact and the biblical theory as ludicrous
– Poses the question “how can the earths tremendous variety of plants and animals be explained?” states as fact millions of species exist and fossil records document changes over time. Darwin proved species compete for food and only fittest survive and pass off traits to their offspring.

-while the biblical explanation claims all species created by God on the same day


B, OF, HT, FE This is a totally superficial and disingenuous comparison. No reference of fact that both are theories or offer students references like the well documented series called “ The Truth Project” by Focus on the Family  www.thetruthproject.org/http://www.thetruthproject.org/








5. Page 402 Many examples of need for one world government.

“ Forces that help cause wars: Nationalism and Competition”

“ Industrialization widens the wealth gap and leads to imperialism”

B, OF, HT, FE en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_government











Evaluation of Social Studies Skills and other important issues

Number Questions Yes No
1. Is the appropriate vocabulary relevant to the subject matter presented to students?

For example, on comparative government are terms such as monarchy, oligarchy, democracy, socialism, fascism, and communism presented?

  NO- views are politically biased to Social democracy
2. Are the captions under pictures factual?   Very few footnotes so nothing but opinions
3. Are the charts and graphs relevant to the topic being presented?   Sometimes but biased
4. Are the maps accurate and relevant to the topic?    
5. Are questions thought provoking?  Is adequate and accurate material provided so that the students can formulate appropriate answers?   Somtimes
6. Are primary and secondary sources presented for students to examine (for bias, propaganda, point of view, and frame of reference)?*   NO
7. Does the text present a lesson on how to evaluate the validity of a source based on language, corroboration with other sources, and information about the author? *   NO
8. Does the textbook have a Glossary? Are key terms included and defined?   Partial
9. Does the textbook have accurate timelines to help the student understand chronological historical developments?   Yes



Commendations: None


Concerns: Overall Conclusion. This book declares itself  to be Next Generation Sunshine State Standards (KAK Common Core). It perpetuates the theory of one world government. It miss represents the basis of our Founding Principles and distorts  the extensive debates of the Federalist Papers and many other source Documents. It never explores the balance of powers that our Founders created. It repeatedly declares the US to be a democracy and makes no attempt to satisfy FS 1003.42, regarding our founding principles and values.

I am not an expert on world history, but simply a reasonable educated person with a BS and MBA degrees who has traveled in over 75countries and all 7 continents, but given the distortion of our US History and our founding principles in this book, how can one trust it gives a balanced view of any other period in world history- especially when it is nothing but undocumented opinions.

Here are some really important sources documents that every student should study-
Have you read these primary source documents from our nation’s founding?
1100 Charter of Liberties____,                Magna Carta ____,         The Petition of Right of 1628____,
The Grand Remonstrance____,             Bill of Rights of 1689____, US Declaration and Constitution____,
The Original Federalists Papers______  The Original Anti-Federalist Papers ______