America: The Last Best Hope (Volume I): From the Age of Discovery to a World at War
America, how well do you know your history?
In his Farewell Address, Ronald Reagan said if we forget what we have done, we will forget who we are. This book, written by one of Reagan's most loyal lieutenants, responds to Reagan's heartfelt call for an informed patriotism.
We all need to know more about this land we love. In this gripping tale of a nation, our country's past comes alive. Here is the story of those we chose to lead us and what they did with the awesome power we gave them. Join Bill Bennett for the great adventure. America's teacher will lead you on a voyage of discovery.
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."
"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."
"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."
"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.
What people are saying - Write a review
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.