The memory hole, a creation of George Orwell’s novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” was a mechanism for separating a society’s disapproved ideas from its dominant ideas. The unfavored ideas disappeared, Orwell wrote, “on a current of warm air” into furnaces.
In the U.S., the memory-sorting machine may be the College Board’s final revision of the Advanced Placement examination for U.S. history, to be released later this summer.
The people responsible for the new AP curriculum really, really hate it when anyone says what they are doing to U.S. history is tendentious and destructive. In April, the nine authors of the “curriculum framework” published a relatively brief open letter to rebut “uninformed criticisms” of the revision.
Last week, 56 professors and historians published a petition on the website of the National Association of Scholars, urging opposition to the College Board’s framework. Pushback against the new AP U.S. history curriculum has also emerged in Texas, Colorado, Tennessee, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Georgia.