America: The Last Best Hope (Volume I): From the Age of Discovery to a World at War, Volume 1 (Google eBook)

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Thomas Nelson Inc, May 23, 2006 - History - 592 pages
6 Reviews

To resce the future, we must remember our past.

With command and wit, William J. Bennett reacquaints Americans with their heritage in an engaging narrative that cuts through the cobwebs of time, memory, and prevailing cynicism. Washington, Franklin, Lincoln, Roosevelt, and others reemerge not as marble icons or dust-dry names in a textbook, but as full-blooded, heroic pioneers whose far-reaching vision forged a nation that attracted?that still attracts?millions yearning to breathe free. In this, the first volume of a "reasoned, balanced presentation of the American story," Bennett tells our nation's story, with all its triumphs and tragedies. He summons us to embrace America's cause once again as "the last best hope of earth."

What others are saying:

"William J. Bennett artfully and subtly makes connections between our past and current events, reminding us ... that we are intimately and immediately connected to the extraordinary Americans who have bestowed upon us our great heritage.... [T]he importance of America: The Last Best Hope probably exceeds anything Dr. Bennett has ever written, and it is more elegantly crafted and eminently readable than any comprehensive work of history I've read in a very long time. It's silly to compare great works of history to great novels, but this book truly is a page-turner.... Prepare to have your faith in, hope for, and love of America renewed."
-Brad Miner, American Compass

"The Role of history is to inform, inspire, and sometimes provoke us, which is why Bill Bennett's wonderfully readable book is so important. He puts our nation's triumphs, along with its lapses, into the context of a narrative about the progress of freedom. Every now and then it's useful to be reminded that we are a fortunate people, blessed with generations of leaders who repeatedly renewed the meaning of America."
-Walter Isaacson, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life

"For too long Americans have been looking for a history of our country that tells the story of America's triumphs as well as its tragedies. Now Bill Bennett has come forward with America: The Last Best Hope, which tells the story-fairly and fully-from 1492 to 1914. Americans who have been reading recent biographies of the Founding Fathers will love this book."
-Michael Barone, US News & World Report

"Bill Bennett's book will stand as perhaps the most important addition to American scholarship at this, the start of the new century. For the past fifty years American historians have either distorted American history or reduced it to a mess of boring indictments of our cultural and political heritage. With this book Bennett offers to Americans young and old an exciting and enjoyable history of what makes America the greatest nation on earth.
-Brian Kennedy, president, The Claremont Institute

  

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America: The Last Best Hope

User Review  - razor12 - Overstock.com

Straight talk on America's history. Better than a classroom. Plan to order part two book. Can't beat the price, value or service. Would definately use, and plan to use this company again. It's all about the "O"! ... Read full review

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This hefty book goes through the history of the United States from the Age of Discovery with great sailors to the 20th Century where America had established their position as one of the world's superpowers. It's very interesting to see how The ideas that we hold sacred were almost happened upon by the founders and the fact that those ideas persevered through adversity from all directions. Bennett describes the political scene in depth and leaves out much of the cultural makeup of the nation, but one can still get a good feel for the way life was back then. The author gives a strong backing to the Republican party throughout American History (claiming Jefferson's party was 'Republican' instead of Democratic Republican) and shows the 'Democrats' as the clear antagonist to freedom and prosperity. This may be true in some contexts, but Bennett fails to recognize the inconsistency within the Republican party- starting out more democratic and ending up more federalist, and how the republican party started off as radicalists and entered the 20th century as the conservatives. This ebb and flow of political status is more an more evident as the current administration shows- what fiscally conservative politician can claim to have presided over the largest government budget in the history of America?
Bennett's tone when he describes the Civil War is conciliatory, but he seems to shine a positive light on Lincoln and the Union effort during the conflict, which is appropriate for their preserving the Union, but perhaps not because of the extreme losses that it caused. 600,000 Americans died. It's very difficult to see that as good in any way. Credit to Bennett for a generally objective view on the entire survey.
 

Contents

Westward the Course 14921607
1
A City Upon a Hill 16071765
30
The Greatest Revolution 17651783
62
Reflection and Choice Framing the Constitution 17831789
107
The New Republic 17891801
133
The Jeffersonians 18011829
177
Jackson and Democracy 18291849
220
The Rising Storm 18491861
269
Freedoms Fiery Trial 18601863
311
A New Birth of Freedom 18631865
356
To Bind Up the Nations Wounds 18651877
393
An Age More Golden Than Gilded? 18771897
434
The American Dynamo Shadowed by War 18971914
475
Notes
527
Index
563
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Dr. William J. Bennett is one of America's most influential and respected voices on cultural, political, and educational issues. He studied philosophy at Williams College (BA) and the University of Texas (PhD) and earned a law degree from Harvard. Host of the top-ten nationally syndicated radio show Bill Bennett's Morning in America, he is also the Washington Fellow of the Claremont Institute, former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (1981?1985) and Secretary of Education (1985?1988), and first director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (1989?1990). Bennett has contributed to America's leading newspapers, magazines, and television shows. He is the author and editor of several national bestselling books, including The Book of Virtues, America: The Last Best Hope, and The Book of Man. He and his wife, Elayne, reside in North Carolina and have two grown sons. Follow him on Twitter: @WilliamJBennett.

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