|A Patriot's History of the United States: From Columbus's Great Discovery to the War on Terror
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For at least thirty years, high school and college students have been taught to be embarrassed by American history. Required readings have become skewed toward a relentless focus on our country's darkest moments, from slavery to McCarthyism. As a result, many history books devote more space to Harriet Tubman than to Abraham Lincoln; more to My Lai than to the American Revolution; more to the internment of Japanese Americans than to the liberation of Europe in World War II. Now, finally, there is an antidote to this biased approach to our history. Two veteran history professors have written a sweeping, well-researched book that puts the spotlight back on America's role as a beacon of liberty to the rest of the world. Schweikart and Allen are careful to tell their story straight, from Columbus's voyage to the capture of Saddam Hussein. They do not ignore America's mistakes through the years, but they put them back in their proper perspective. And they conclude that America's place as a world leader derived largely from the virtues of our own leaders- the men and women who cleared the wilderness, abolished slavery, and rid the world of fascism and communism. The authors write in a clear and enjoyable style that makes history a pleasure, not just for students but also for adults who want to learn what their teachers skipped over.
- Rose Colored Glasses??
It is fairly obvious from the reviews that those that give this book high ratings would call themselves 'conservative' and have derogatory remarks about people that have differing opinions. Pointing out the greatness and shortcomings in America's history does not make you unpatriotic, only honest. History is told from the perspective of the 'winners' and reading any grade school history textbook reveals this - and this book is no different. It is the same old history with the warts left out.
Why do people feel threatened when entrenched ideas and ideologies are questioned? That is what this great country is all about. The results of questioning the status quo has lead to many great advances including women's suffrage and Brown vs. the Board of Education. Questioning is the most patriotic thing one can do - reading feel good history on the other hand is is not. If you have a truly open mind and are willing to think for yourself please read Howard Zinn's book for the `other' side of American History.
When obvious shortcoming in US History are not included, I am not sure how it is labeled by readers as `fair and balanced' view. ...more info
- unbelievably biased
Words such as "right wing", "republican", or "biased" are inadequate at describing the baseness of this book. Slavery is justified by claiming that slaves were not treated any differently than white servants and that their owners were conscientious about the system. Sexism is justified by claiming that women received lower pays because that's a good incentive for men to work. Killings of Indians are justified by depicting Indians as terrible fighters who inflicted deaths and injuries to the settlers. Intellectual freedom is chastised by claiming that liberals are "checked" by the good sense of religion and society. The only more stunning thing than the book itself is the fantastic rating the book receives from amazon readers. Shame on the authors, shame on Americans who drink this poisonous stuff heartily. To be fair, there is a lesson a reader can learn: that is how incredibly twisted a "patriot"'s mind can be. ...more info
- A Wondferful and Accurate look at our History
This book blows away all the politically correct, factually incorrect, self-hating style of modern American History text books. While very slighty written in conservative bias, it non-the less presents a much more accurate and fair portrayal of US History than what tragically is taught in most public schools today. ...more info
- A great telling of the American story
My sincere graditude to Schweikart and Allen for their Herculean effort that is this book. Indeed America, while not perfect, is the "shining city on a hill" and "the last, best hope for mankind." Ours is the charge to be worthy of our heritage and, where we recognize imperfection, right our course.
Many have already commented on the balance struck in the Patriot's telling of the American story and rightfully so. No one is blindly adulated and no one is immune from criticism. But equally important for any good book is readability. A textbook this is not. It reads more like a novel as it draws you in. I particularly appreciated their ability to weave contemporary analogies into the past and past analogies into the present. The former offers understanding; the latter, perspective....more info
- A refreshing and just emphasis on the positive
On so many levels the authors demonstrate with historical facts that America's greatness is greater than the undeniable instances of racism, sexism and bigotry. The waves of immigrants that keep coming to this country must intuitively know, without benefit of these 825 enlightening pages, that the emphasis in this book is correct.
- Fair Book, but some very suspect writing
This book was a fair history text, but not the best I have seen.
The writers spend very little time on the War of 1812 or the Mexican War, given the influence and significance they had on America as a world power. The coverage of Antebellum, the Civil War and the Reconstruction periods is also painfully short for the overall impact this period had on American history.
The New Deal is strongly criticized with the writers showing the impact programs had after 50 years. This is fine, but no citations are given explaining how the writers reached these conclusions.
This book is written from an obvious right of center bias and the writers are up front about such. But by writing in this manner, they leave out many important details and skew some other details in order to promote what they want to tell.
Its not a bad book, but enough information is left out, the cititaions are sketchy enough, and the style skewed enough for me to say that there are a fair number history survey texts out there that are better than this one....more info
- What a farce.
This book reminds me of the story of two men talking about the days of knights and kings.
First man "Gee, it would have been great to live in those days."
Second man "Yeah, if you rode the horse, but what if you cleaned up after the horse."
In the same way, these writers have chosen to look at history from one viewpoint. History is much more than that. History is not supposed to be so slanted that you don't even recognize it as in this book. They have completely forgotten that the greatness of the United States is not that it perfect the first time, but that if isn't perfect it can be corrected. ...more info
- Same Old Trap
Trying to counter overly negative histories of America with an overly positive history is to fall into the same trap. Revision of revisionary history? If it merely retold history all in a positive light, it could be enjoyed as a funny counter to the silly all negative histories out there. But it is not like that. It is basically a pep rally for today's Republican Party. So some historical events are good and some are bad, based on the values of today's politics. That's a terrible way to explore and present history; terrible in exactly the same way the overly negative or overly leftist or overly anti-American histories are.
Same old trap, other political side. What's the point?
- "Where the spirit of the Lord is there liberty"
How are we to learn from history if we are to be selective with the truth? This book should be added to the curricular in our high schools and colleges. The outstanding "A Patriots History" resolves many of the myths and half-truths I was taught in school. Take pride in being an American.
Schweikart and Allen takes us through our countries history, from the late 1400's with the early explores, to 9/11 and beyond, with a positive perspective and an honest evaluation. "At least Howard Zinn's 'A peoples History of the U.S.' honestly represents its Marxist biases in title". Colorfully written and heart warming; well detailed, down to the clothes worn and the food consumed. There are notes with extensive references. "Compared to any other nation, America's past is a bright and shinning light".
We learn about Democracy's greatest hour when the nation came together during W.W.II. We learn of the men who helped to build our country through capitalism and the free market. The chapter covering the myths of the 1929 stock crash is superb. The close calls: were it not for the lack of foresight by the Spanish, N. America may have fallen into their hands; Roosevelt naming Truman vise President may have saved our great land. Presidential opposition in the form of the media and political parties began with our first president. But it wasn't until the 60's when the media started to influence politics. It is hard to imagine the negative campaigning in the early 1800's made today's look tame.
"The old adage that 'all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing, or stay home'"-----referring to the southern vote of secession--ring familiar? The labels we place on groups today are not applicable to that of 100 years ago--one only needs to look at liberalism and feminism of the 60's and 70's to see the impact.
"Where the spirit of the Lord is there liberty"
Wish you well
- A Mixed Bag... Some chapters are perceptive and others are just poorly developed
~Patriots' History of the United States~ is supposedly an antidote to left-wing histories such as the People's History of the United States by leftist Maoists like Howard Zinn. This history was bound to happened! This is an ostensibly reactionary right-wing history of the United States, which comes in age when progressive left-wing historians and Frankfurt School Marxists dominant academia and receive critical acclaim for their puff pieces of historical revisionism and progressive orthodoxy. Leftists idolize the shoddy scholarship of Howard Zinn who dubs Mao Tse-Tung's Red China as "the closest thing, in the long history of that ancient country, to a people's government, independent of outside control." It would seem that finding a mainstream right-leaning America-centric historian that chronicles the history of the United States should be a breath of fresh air. Before The Patriot's History came along, a British historian Paul Johnson had written an appreciative history of America called The History of the American People. Likewise, the authors of this book, Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen offer a contra-Zinn history of the United States without the outrageous leftist bias and the nauseating anti-Americanism.
They ostensibly hope to give Americans a reason to hold their head up high, and admit that while America is not perfect, she has a proud heritage and historical legacy that should be celebrated. Throwing aside a lot of politically correct non-sense, which sums up the colonial era as one of Puritan intolerance and the American Founding Era as a festival of slave oppression, the Patriot History focuses on the cultural, political and military history of the United States from the time of Columbus' discovery to the present-day War on Terrorism. Though, I would have to say this book is a mixed bag, as they authors have not pieced together a really substantive piece of scholarship, just a verbose comprehensive body of history. There is much to be desired for.
The coverage of the American Founding Era is somewhat mediocre and wanting. The so called chapter on the Era of Big Central Government carries a perspective that is rather annoying and off kelter, and it is an absurd recap of the Era of Good Feelings during Monroe's Presidency with a misleading chapter name (i.e., the Era of Big Central Government) and dubious analysis. The Great Depression chapter and the later chapters on the last three decades were very interesting and there are few complaints, as the socialist deluge of the New Deal is made manifest with sound judgment. I like the take on Coolidge's Presidency, as well as the brutal honesty about FDR's New Deal. The authors may heap praise upon Lincoln, but they do not kiss FDR's butt like nearly every American history book ever written. Moreover, it clears the air about the failures of the New Deal; and spells out the reality that FDR never brought us out of the Depression but rather exacerbated and prolonged it with asinine policies. The authors are probably indebted to economist and historian Murray Rothbard for their insights. However, there is much to be wanted in the overall product. For every chapter of brilliant insight, well-written narratives and astute analysis, it seems followed up by distasteful chapters of historical revisionism wrought with factual errors and simplistic analysis. The constitutional history is rather disappointing and is not adequate. For example, the authors dubiously claim the "necessary and proper" clause is an independent soruce of power. It is implied that is the way it was intended from the impetus of the republic, despite the fact that it turns the Tenth Amendment on its nose. This totally goes against original intent, as well as Madison's conception of the federal government being one of expressed delegated powers and confined to "enumerated objects." The "necessary and proper" clause is not an independent grant of power, and no law student could get away with making that claim on a bar exam even in our time. True patriots believe in constitutionally-limited government and do not stand on the mantle of consolidation. Most Americans correlate patriotism with constitutionalism. The authors should be embarrassed for such an appalling job in surmising constitutional developments and original intent, particularly since they purport to have produced the "patriotic" history. Not surprisingly, the coverage of the American Civil War is downright biased and off kilter to the point of distorting facts just to get jabs in at the Confederacy and the South. All kind of bold assertions are made such as Lincoln not getting along with Sherman because Sherman was a racist. Well, let us not quote Lincoln and contradict this! The military casualty statistics are erroneously misrepresented to buoy supposed the Union military genius which was abysmally absent otherwise the war would have ended much earlier. Likewise, historical facts about the Confederate popular referendums on secession are maligned, and the authors act as though no referendums ever took place which is dubious. I could go on, but I'm tired of chronicling errors, so I bury the hatchet with the authors for their bias, distortions and obfuscations. The other reviewers have not done their homework when they heap slavish praise upon this book for its accuracy and balance.
I will only say that this book had a lot of promise and it turned sour because of shallow assertions and historical obfuscation. Yes, I certainly like this narrative history better than the hundreds of alternatives out there, but if one wants a politically incorrect, patriotic or otherwise appreciative history of the United States than call upon Alexander Hamilton Stephens, Paul Johnson or Thomas E. Woods, Jr. first. Writing a history that celebrates America is certainly admirable, but twisting historical facts and neglecting so many pivotal areas of history in such a vast work is rather irritating. The authors have an unusual penchant for amplifying certain historical periods needlessly and then summarily glossing over another era. Bouncing between profound depth and superficial gloss makes it rather frustrating to read. The haphazard quality of the book makes one wonder whether one author produced the brilliance and the other author produced all the shallowness. Though, I'm not apt to discern which author wrote what in this collaborative effort....more info
- Complete History of the U.S.
A Patriot's History of the United States is an excellent, comprehensive history book. Unlike many history books, it is not biased or "politically correct." This book can be used effectively as a student textbook (middle school and high school levels) and as a library reference book. The book is also enjoyable to read without it being a course requirement. I hope that it will be updated and reprinted so that many teachers will use it in their American history courses, librarians will add it to their reference and non-fiction collections, and Amazon (and other online sellers) will sell the hardcover, paperback, and e-book editions as in the past. The book's website is [...]. ...more info
- Once again...liberals show how wrong and stupid they are
If theres one thing that this wonderful book proves is that it only takes someone to wirte or comment about America in positive light for this country's america hating moron's to rear their ugly heads. It's bad enough that we have most of our European Allies trashing us (after we spent billions of dollars and lost thousands of lives liberating them from tyranny and asked little or nothing in return). But to have a bunch of dingbats who run our education system indoctrinate our children with howard zinn and other intellectual anti-american trash with tax-payer money is a travesity tatmount to spitting on the graves of fallen Americans who died to give these so called "American Liberals" thier right to hate this country. If you think that America's history is shameful, then I suggest you bone up on how Soviet Russia slaughtered millions of thier own people in the name of building a "soviet man"? Or better yet how about how Moa Ze-tung out did the soviets by killing off one third of China's population during the so called "great leap foward" of the 1950's? It was great leap allright, into the grave for 100,000,000 Chinese. But wait...theres more... how about how Pol pot of Cambodia killed off half of the native population in the name of building a perfect Communist society?...how North Vietnam expelled over a million South Vietnamese onto the open sea and left them to fend for them selves or how Slobadan Mislovich waged ethinc cleasning against muslims and Kosovars ( we stopped that by the way), how the Japanese muredered over a millions of chinese during thier invasion during WWII...how they sneaked this country and killed 3,000 americans...the batan death march, the bridge on the river Kwai..and i can go on and on and on and on about how rotten other empires, dictatorships and totalitarian states have abused thier own people, not even alluded to the idea thatindividual human beings have some sort of rights and threatened the world at large by trying to export thier tryanny and still find sympathy with idiots in this country. And of course, the grand finale ...NAZI Germany's facist take over of Europe and the millions of deaths that resulted. If your a liberal you proabably arent aware that America saved Europe and the world by defeating facsism and replacing it with democracy. Where were America's lubby dubby liberals when all these horrible episodes of human history occured? They were in the University's declaring that Communism and Nazism are the future...they were in the editorial pages of the press urging tolerance and appeasement of Hitler. They were on the college campuses burning Americans flags and waving vietcong flags while American pilots were being tortured and brave soilders being spit on. They were and are in the halls of congress comparing Iraqi insurgents and Al Queda to the Founding fathers of America!!!! The only time that liberals espoude concern for human life is when america takes it. Often this is in self defense(1812,Mexican War,WWI,WWII,Panama,GulfI,9/11). Or for the purpose of helping those who cannot help themselves ( Bosina, Kosovo,Somlia,Iraq,Afagnistan)If this does not disturb you then something is horribly wrong with you. It should now be regsitering on you that there are people in this country that, although they do not hijack airplanes conduct roadside bombings or kill American Soliders, they hate this country just as much as the terrorist do and seek to destroy us from the inside while terrorist do from the out side.If you are on the liberals i have just ripped to pieces and you hate this country so much, because we are a superpower, were captialist, we dont have national health care , bush is preisdent or whatever...please take advantage of this country's lax immigration laws and get out here and go live some where like Cuba, North Korea, Syria or China. Im sure they would be glad to have u come live there. You can even take up a living writing anti- american propoganda for them ......better yet....i hear that the iraqi insurgency is needing some recruits...you may not be a muslim terrorist,,,but you're an american liberal...and thats close enough!! That said and done...this is great country with a proud and great history as these two authors have illustrated and i will take that to the matt any day!!!!...more info
- A Thorough but Biased History of the United States
"For the past three decades, those writing history have allowed their biases to distort the way America's past is taught", reads the opening paragraph of the book jacket for "A Patriot's History of the United States", by Larry Schweikert and Michael Allen.
"As a result," it continues using a popular straw man argument of conservatives decrying the rampant political correctness they see as ruining any intellectual discussion, "more emphasis is placed on Harriet Tubman than on George Washington;".
It is an argument I have heard before. But this time, just to be sure of its validity, I decided to conduct my own very non-scientific survey, one that involved looking through book indexes of three American History texts in my personal library to see to what extent historians have elevated Harriet over George in our Pantheon of Heroes.
First I checked my own college history book, John A Garraty's, "The American Nation A History of the United States" , 3rd edition published in 1975. Washington is mentioned on 17 pages in the text with the index pointing to several subtopics of his life as general and president. Harriet Tubman is not even listed in the index (nor is she even mentioned in the brief discussion of The Underground Railroad). Of course, this book was written 30 years ago, and for an audience, college students and beyond, less susceptible to the indoctrination of the left than would be school age children, so I checked two other books, both written in the 1990's and aimed at younger students.
In "The Americans", by Jordan, Greenblatt and Bowes, a high school level text, published by Follet, George Washington's index entry takes up 1/3 of a column, with 14 sub listings and with references to nearly 40 pages. Tubman's entry refers to just two pages. In Prentice Hall's " The American Nation", a middle school level book, Washington is mentioned on nearly 30 pages, Tubman again only two.
The Father of Our Country can rest easily.
Apparently editing was not a prime concern for the authors as this book has quite a number of factual errors, questionable interpretations and careless mistakes left unedited. So the Time Lines, which appear at the beginning of each chapter, have Kentucky admitted to the Union in 1791 and Tennessee admitted in 1786 (they were admitted in 1792 and 1796 respectively), and William Henry Harrison's death and John Tyler's ascendancy to the presidency in 1840 (it happened in 1841). Franklin Pierce was a "Vermont lawyer and ardent expansionist". (He was from New Hampshire). Of the Buchanan administration's failure to defend Fort Sumter, "The leading Republican in his Cabinet, Lewis Cass resigned in disgust..." Cass was a Democrat and in fact had been that party's presidential nominee in 1848.
According to the book, after the humiliating XYZ affair the three American Ministers, John Marshall, Charles Pinckney and Elbridge Gerry, sent to France to negotiate a treaty refused to pay a bribe to the French Government, "and immediately returned home." While it is true that both Marshall and Pinckney disgustedly left immediately, Gerry stayed on for several months trying to negotiate a deal on his own.
Very unlikely is the authors' claim that James Cox, the 1920 Democratic nominee for President was "Woodrow Wilson's handpicked successor." First of all, Wilson had by then suffered a debilitating stroke while campaigning for US entry into the League of Nations. Secondly, one of Cox' main rivals for the nomination, William MacAdoo was Wilson's son-in-law and former Treasury Secretary, and while the two were not on close terms by 1920, Wilson was also known to have quite a disdain for Cox.
And the authors' contention that Wilson was a "Southern man of Northern Principals", is preposterous. Wilson, despite the northern veneer he had acquired through his years as the President of Princeton and Governor of New Jersey was a true southerner with southern principals, as backwards on racial issues as the typical southerner of his day. Even his progressivism on economic issues was in the southern populist traditions of politicians like Governor and Senator "Pitchfork" Ben Tillman of South Carolina, Senator (and later Supreme Court Justice) Hugo Black of Alabama, and long time House Banking Chairman Wright Patman of East Texas, and was based at least partly on the fear that left unregulated, the large banking and financial institutions of the northeast would destroy the livelihoods of the farmers in the rural south.
Still there is much to commend about this book; it is an easy to read American History text with an especially fine treatment of the Civil War era, including the period leading up to secession and war. The author's sympathies are unabashedly pro-union and without reservation against the wretchedness of slavery.
The author's contend that
* the passage of the disastrous Kansas-Nebraska act was little more than a political deal by Stephen Douglas to offer the south something in return for allowing the first transcontinental railroad to take a northern route to Chicago, the largest city in his home state, rather than through a route further south;
* despite some famous early victories, and, "for all his purported genius," Robert E. Lee's battles were enormously costly to the ultimate success of the south, as Lee lost a far greater proportion of his army than the losing north did, in victories like Chancellorsville; and
* while southern leaders made state's rights an issue in voting for secession, the real issue was only and always slavery and the wealth and "way of life" it produced for southern whites and the institution was not going to die quickly as some moderate northerners hoped and believed.
Conservative readers interested in a reasonably well-written history that covers its subject thoroughly, will enjoy this book. Liberals, will learn something too; they just might wind up yelling back at the TV.
- Little to the Right
This history is a good general history up until about the 1950s. From this point on, especially during the Reagan to Bush II years it is way too far on the right. This section would be a good are for students to read as an extreme version of history which one could use to critique. It would be interesting to see how the authors would relate the past few years since the book's publication. I would like to see how they paint $3.59 per gallon gas as a problem of the Clinton years. I would not use this as a regular text by any means....more info
- A valuable source book
An accurate and useful view of history can never be gotten from one single source. An accurate knowledge of history is crucial if we want to avoid making the same catastrophic mistakes over and over again. i.e. do you understand how Hitler gained power? Would you recognize the techniques if they were instituted here?
If you doubt that American history has been rewritten, go to a used book store and find older books and compare them with books published after the 50s and 60s. Find out what has been excluded, whitewashed, distorted, spun or misrepresented. You can still do this. If you do not, your children may not be able to do so....more info
- A Must Read for Every American!!!
This book is a must read for every American, no matter their political leaning. I completed a BA in History this past June and I've already learned things I never knew and was never taught in high school or freshman American History, and I'm only 115 pages into the book! The authors do not have any idetifiable bias except telling the truth about our history...the good, the bad and the ugly. So far, this book has made me even more proud to be an American. I can't think of a better recommendation.
For anyone who might wish to debate this review, please contact me at email@example.com. I'd be glad to debate facts, but I will not debate emotional outbursts or positions not based on fact....more info
- Fantastic book
This is a wonderful book that tells the story of our great nation. If you are a proud American, you will appreciate it. It is everything that they don't teach you in the liberal biased education system....more info
- Interesting Approach
To wit, to counter the supposed "leftwing" or "anti-American" bias of Zinn's "People's History." I picked up the book and read the back cover, excerpts from the introduction. The authors suggest that Zinn has his "Marxist" leanings already apparent in the title, "A People's History..." That's odd. I recall another subversive document beginning in a similar way: "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union..." It's called the US Constitution. Certainly, a litany of America's wrongs does not do justice to the full history of the United States. Ironically, Zinn's book itself was a counter to earlier US histories which effectively glossed over, ignored, repressed, or egregiously misstated real events in the history of this country. What was written then was incredibly biased! THAT was what Zinn was countering. My question, then: are the authors of "A Patriot's History" effectively challenging Zinn's version of events as he has catalogued them? Did the slaughter of Native Americans in this country not happen as described? I suppose the authors would like to see slavery as a "mistake" or "shortcoming," when in fact it is integral to what the United States was, and is. There was no mistake. The US wanted slavery, pure and simple, and it thrived economically because of it. Would the authors argue differently? That would be entertaining indeed... ...more info
- Interesting, but writer's anti-federal government bias flaws otherwise useful work.
Alot of the information is interesting, and the authors provide a nice balance to Zinn's "People's History" series.
However, making assertions that the south lost the Civil War because the Confederate government was too powerful and undermined the southern economy is just too far out. So is stating that the roots of today's Democratic party may be found in Hamilton and Washington.
Other gems like this throughout "Patriot's History" are almost funny. If you're from the right and want to see some arguments you like, great book. If you're from the left and want to train wrecks in logic (like watching Fox News Channel), great book.
But if you want an honest interpretation of the events that drove the development of the United States, look elsewhere. "Freedom Just Around the Corner" is an interesting alternative, "The Island at the Center of the World" is a new book on colonial (Dutch) New Amsterdam, "Alexander Hamilton" is a good book for the revolutionary era....more info
- Poorly sourced ideological polemic masquerading as history text
Our high school's curriculum committee recently reviewed this so-called "history" of the United States at the insistence of a member of our school board, an ultraconservative activist who is unabashedly outspoken about his involvement with organizations such as Move America Forward (a phony "grassroots" organization funded primarily by the energy lobby and run by the GOP-tied PR firm Russo Marsh & Rogers) and Free Republic (an online discussion board not only notorious for allowing members to post death threats against a number high-profile politicians but now under investigation for harassment of liberal activist Andy Stephenson, whose recent death may have been hastened by a campaign of fraud tied to members of Free Republic that caused postponement of his treatment when payment was interfered with). In a delightfully ironic twist, the chairman of the high school's history department, a conservative and 1960s alumnus of the University of Chicago (not exactly a hotbed of antiwar radicalism, to say the least), wrote a lengthy letter explaining why the book was unsuitable as a history text:
-- inadequate use of primary sources
-- some sources used for the book have been challenged
-- the book fails to cover a large number of important historical events, trends and ideas
-- in other cases, events, trends and ideas are covered in a biased, incomplete or outright dishonest manner
He concluded the letter by dressing down said board member for "wasting this committee's time by foisting a political polemic thinly disguised as 'American history.'"
Interestingly, the author himself seems to be a member of Free Republic, foisting his hackwork on the sheep (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1310107/posts). Perhaps the old adages are worth repeating: never judge a book by its cover, and be careful of the company you keep....more info
- Makes you wish there was a "0 stars" option
How this even got published is just beyond me. This is absolutely the most incredibly ignorant history book I've ever read. Actually, I think it would be better termed "revisionist" history.
Don't misunderstand me, history books are often innaccurate and disagree, but this tome can best be described as a fantasy version of US history that will appeal to the most rabid instincts of the average knuckle-dragging Limbaugh/Fox News fan. I'd honestly never even conceived of a partisan American History book.
One simple example would be using the rather unsubstantiated and implausible theories of the book "Silent Coup" where G. Gordon Liddy becomes a noble hero and John Dean is the sole catalyst of Watergate.
I don't know whether I should laugh or cry. ...more info
- A surprisingly balanced history, but not without its flaws.
It is axiomatic that there are at least two sides to every story, so when I stumbled across this book at my local library I was drawn in by the back-cover blurb that proclaims the author's purpose to counter what he describes as the blame-America-first revisionist history that predominates in modern scholarship, as epitomized by Howard Zinn. The reference on the front cover to the author's "Limbaugh Letter" interview made it clear to me what this author's perspective would be. This will be an automatic turn-off for many politically liberal readers, and explains the love-it-or-hate-it nature of most reviews. Notwithstanding the author's very up-front and unapologetic conservative perspective, I found this to be surprisingly (and refreshingly) balanced in its presentation. To dismiss this book as mere liberal-bashing or an ideological exercise is a gross mischaracterization.
By way of a few examples, FDR would be an easy target for a conservative ideologue to bash, but he is treated with surprising fairness in this book. Yes, the author levels some criticism at Roosevelt's New Deal statism, but a few pages later he praises FDR's pre-war diplomatic efforts with Japan (even while criticizing his handling of Hitler), and takes special pains to debunk the urban legend that FDR knew in advance of the Pearl Harbor attack and let it happen to drag the U.S. into World War II. Similarly, Truman is criticized for some of his domestic policies, but praised for his handling of the Berlin Airlift, while Eisenhower (a Republican) is taken to task for perpetuating and even expanding FDR's New Deal programs. The author characterizes Kennedy, a Democrat, as "brilliant" in his handling of the Khrushchev letters during the Cuban Missile Crisis, even while ripping the ineptitude of JFK's broader Cuba policies. Nixon, a Republican, is upbraided for his big-government spending and welfare statism, but praised for his foreign policy achievements vis a vis China and the Soviet Union. Republican president George Bush (41) is praised for his coalition-building success in the first Gulf War, but is described as having a "lack of political imagination" and as having told a "bald-faced lie" to the American public with his broken "no new taxes" pledge. Even George Washington is not exempt from criticism, given his colossal military failures early in the Revolutionary War. In short, it is absolutely spurious to dismiss this book as a one-sided ideological hit piece.
The author unflinchingly displays the good, the bad and the ugly of all political figures and parties, alternately offering up both praise and criticism for each where warranted. A personality who is praised on one page is taken to task on the next, and vice versa throughout the book. That may seem like liberal-bashing to some, but that's just because they're unaccustomed to seeing their liberal brethren criticized in the history books, or seeing people from the opposite end of the political spectrum receive a fair shake. I think it's telling that many of those who condemn this book ostensibly because of the author's bias are nonetheless willing to praise Zinn's "People's History," which is far more lopsided in the other direction. To varying degrees, bias is inevitable in historical narratives because it is filtered through each author's experience and worldview. Some are better at restraining their bias, but to some extent it will always exist. Truth be told, the real issue for the critics isn't the existence of bias itself, but of a bias with which they disagree.
The book is not without its problems, however. As other reviewers have pointed out, there are a number of misprints or incorrect facts. For some examples: the date of the Burr/Hamilton duel is misstated in one place (but corrected elsewhere); Kasserine Pass could not be viewed as an Allied victory by even the most charitable assessments -- the Americans took a solid drubbing; on page 636 the author refers to Hitler when he meant to say Stalin, etc. Obviously there were some editorial lapses but, while these are mildly distracting to the attentive reader, they do not detract substantially from the overall quality and value of the book.
Returning to the question of the author's bias, it is clear that the reader is getting a different viewpoint than is usual. However, this normally comes out in challenges to the conventional wisdom backed by fresh analysis of the historical data. It is plain that the author has done his homework, as evidenced by some 70 pages of endnotes and citations. The author does occasionally slip into conservative editorializing, particularly toward the end of the book as he gets into his personal frame of reference, which is something that I find unacceptable in this or any other history book. Just the facts, please. Still, this volume provides some much needed balance to the historical debate that has been largely dominated by left-wing academics. After reading this book, it is fair to say with the venerable Paul Harvey, "now you know the REST of the story."...more info
- Its the text that SHOULD be used in schools.
After teaching at the college level for 25 years I don't think most people realize just how biased and liberal most universities today are. Unless you have been in department meetings you really have no idea. No matter how one sided and liberal you think colleges may be you are underestimating it. There is no discussion, no competing ideas.
Does it really make sense that textbooks on American history devote one page, if that, to Washington or Jefferson, and three to Salem Poor?
What really made me appreciate this book was that a lot of it was what I HAD learned before we hit the PC time warp. Its not that different ideas are presented, its that only the liberal ideas are presented, again, no discussion no competition. This book balances it out somewhat.
You'll never see this book used, I'm afraid, in most colleges though it is by far the most interesting, comprehensive history book I have ever read. Not dry or boring, but really makes you want to read the next page.
I do have to agree with a previous reviewer, it seems many of the negative reviews did not really read the book and just resorted to the usual name calling....more info
- Just what is a Conservative, anyway?
I am a history teacher and have just returned from a seminar where Dr. Schweikart was the featured speaker. His book, "A Patriot's History...." was the required reading. I found the book to be incredibly biased toward all things "Republican", to the point of absurdity. For example: Schweikart devotes considerable space to Whitewater, Monica, "Travelgate", and other Clinton scandals, but Does Not Even Make Mention Of IRAN-CONTRA! How could this be even remotely "Fair and Balanced?
During the seminar with Dr. Schweikart I was allowed to question him and I asked about this conspicuous omission and was told that he didn't think IRAN-CONTRA was significant enough to make it into print. Also, I asked Dr. Schweikart for a definition of just what a CONSERVATIVE is? After stuttering and stammering, Dr. Schweikart came up with an answer that left me and my collegues scratching our heads. Something about a downtrodden man in a ditch and what a Conservative would tell him as opposed to what a "Liberal" would say? Anyway, this book is useful. I plan on using it when I next teach my unit on "Detecting Bias". ...more info
- A MUST read for all public school graduates, and Home Educators
This is all the history that was edited, or revised out of the public school. If you are capable of thinking for yourself and you want a FAIR AND BALANCED view of United States History - you need to read this book....more info
- An Excellent Approach, But Too Often Factually Incorrect
I was predisposed to view the authors' approach favorably in that an antidote to the left-wing and Marxist textbooks currently in use in American public schools and colleges is sorely needed. In fact, there have been some studies that have shown many high school graduates to actually believe that the US is a dangerous aggressor nation, that capitalism is an evil, and that the only solution is socialism under a world government. Where did they learn this? In school, of course, and if they go on to college such absurd beliefs will be reinforced. One can only wonder where this will all lead.
The format of the book is to be commended, as well as the tenor of the writing. But keep your blue pencil out, the errors come fast and furiously. For example, on page 78 the authors talk about Arnold's march to Quebec "Early in 1776" when it was actually made from September to November of 1775. There were not "many misguided" attempts to take Canada, but only two and it takes a lot of hindsight to label them "misguided." Canada was indeed the 14th colony, and although it seems today that efforts to incorporate it into the Continental government were doomed, it was nowise so certain at the time. Nor was Arnold's first attack on Quebec "repulsed" -- rather Arnold sent an emissary to demand the city's surrender which was refused since Maclean's Royal Highland Emigrant Regiment had arrived to defend the city. And saying that "Arnold staged a stubborn retreat that prevented British units under General Carleton from linking up with General Howe in New York" is a vast overstatement.
On page 79, Washington did not "pressed on to Princeton..." -- rather he went around Cornwallis to escape to winter quarters in northern New Jersey and collided with a British detachment at Princeton. The authors make it appear that Washington took Trenton, then pressed on to take Princeton. That was not the reality of the situation. The discussion of the various drafts of the Declaration of Independence is confusing and somewhat inaccurate -- the authors talk about the minor editing of the final draft, then go back to discuss the many revisions of the original draft, but missing Jefferson's railing at the Catholic Scots who were almost 100% Tories. Other errors include the equating of Howe's strategy of occupying the major American political and populations center with the American "strategic hamlet" policy in Vietnam that widely misses the mark. Categorizing most of the females among Burgoyne's camp followers as "prostitutes" is also simply incorrect. Nor did Burgoyne's foraging units even run into the "famed Green Mountain Boys commanded by Ethan Allen" -- poor Allen was a British prisoner in England at the time. Nor did the Americans march Burgoyne's men "...to Boston, where they boarded transports for England..." -- the negotiations fell through, and Burgoyne's troops spent the next six years in American captivity as the "Convention Army."
Okay, so I could go on and on. The problem is that when authors play fast and loose with the details, should one believe the broader context? In this volume the answer is yes, but the many errors in detail are simply jarring to an informed reader, and render the volume unusable in the classroom.
In addition, the authors miss the impact of Common Law as one of the pillars of American strength and individual freedom. The development of Common Law versus Civil Law needs to be incorporated in every history book so that the students can learn why the US is an exceptional nation. We are governed by a system of laws that are rooted in the opinions of the people -- the laws do not descend upon the people from the King, Emperor, supreme religious authority or any other remote law-giver. The people determine and make the law here in the US -- the only nation so organized in the world today if one discounts Great Britain due to its follies and political subjugation to the EU.
What is needed is for the authors to produce a second edition, one that has been carefully combed for factual errors, whether by actual statement or by inference. Yes, a volume that purports to present the truth in a uplifting and patriotic manner needs to be held to a higher standard than the Marxist garbage by Howard Zinn that is so favored by the academic community. One does not need to wonder about their agenda, and truth does have a way of ultimately coming out. The United States has done more good for the world than any other nation in history, and Americans can take pride in its history -- for all it warts and fits. The authors are correct on this score, but let's reduce the errors so that those how oppose the US won't be able to discount this work due to its many errors....more info
- Restoring An Imbalance
In some ways "Patriot's History" surpasses many college survey texts because it offers a clear, integrated interpretation. It's also readable, unlike dryasdust surveys, with an impressive amount of information. But it's hard to use, let alone rely on, because of an appalling number of errors. It averages perhaps 1 per page for long stretches, and with 900+ pages...you do the math. Such sloppiness is simply embarrassing; the authors rank among the least professional professors of recent years. Corrections would be easy because the mistakes are obvious: Burr killed Hamilton in 1804, not 1803; Edmund Ruffin is Virginian on p.299 and South Carolinian on 304; Henry and William James were brothers, not father and son. But authors and editors serve readers poorly. Can we truly trust any interpretation so weak on facts? Schweikart & Allen seem keen to force most of US history onto the Procrustean bed of their own assumptions, which read like Republican talking points. One result is a rather mean-spirited undertone, with perceived dissenters from free-market fundamentalism subtly but firmly dissed at every turn. They seek to "correct" H. Zinn, "People's History of the US" but the contrasts are instructive and fundamental. Zinn sometimes overstates his points, but since he provided balance (with greater accuracy) by including many obscure but vital voices, that effort is commendable. "Patriot's History" actually restores IMBALANCE. Considering progress made since the 1940s-50s primacy of Consensus History, this takes several steps backward. There's room for solid work from this perspective, but this isn't it. Proceed at your own risk....more info
- An excellent reference
This is an excellent reference and textbook. It provides a more balanced look at American History than many popular textbooks that seem to have an anti-American bias. This is the text that should be used in most of our history classes today. Every history teacher and school administrator should read and review this book BEFORE ordering his or her history textbooks. It would also be good reading for everybody else to correct misinformation they may have been taught in school. Highly recommended!...more info
- Outstanding Compendium
Whether one is conservative, liberal, or somewhere in the lazy, hazy "middle," this book is an outstanding and very necessary addition to the wealth of contemporary U.S. historical surveys. While the authors (both university professors with doctorates) are very clear that they espouse conservative political viewpoints, their scholarship is not skewed, by any means. On the contrary, their conservative foundation seems to steer them in a direction based far more upon direct assessment of historical facts and far less upon the egregiously interpretative latitudes so often taken by leftist and revisionist historians. The result is a balanced survey that springs from a healthy, sober admiration for the American "identity," without a blind eye to America's faults...or to its great successes! How refeshing. Obviously, the authors' delineation and assessment of the New Deal, for example, will meet with disdain from dreamy leftist historians, but the professors again tackle this moment in US history within the sphere of the factual, rather than the interpretative. The work is scrupulously well-documented; citations abound and are appropriate in frequency for a book of this scope. Moreover, the work is eminently well-written--it steadily navigates a tightrope upon which the academic and the accessible are balanced simultaneously for the modern reader, without ever falling into the deathly middle-ground that can sometimes bog-down ambitious tomes of this sort. Buy it for yourself or a loved one and enjoyably refresh the brain cells, particularly at this current, crucial juncture in our history. The book is a "must" for any conservative library, of course, but it's so well-delineated and balanced that historians of any slant would be able to utilize it to significant and compelling effect. That's the great thing about the truth. ...more info
- Deserves a wider audience than just "patriots"
As one-volume histories of the United States go, this one fully measures up to another of my favorites, Paul Johnson's A History of the American People. However, reading some of the reviews of the book on, I can see that the authors' explicit purpose of countering Howard Zinn's Marxist interpretation of American history, A People's History of the United States, has backfired to some extent. Schweikart and Allen openly declare their intention of writing a history of America that emphasizes its "overwhelmingly positive contributions to civilization" - and, unlike Zinn, they do try to give the book a scholarly sheen with plenty of footnotes - but this "built-in bias" has doomed them to being dismissed by many people right off the bat. It's unfortunate, because there's plenty of fodder here for legitimate discussion and debate. As one might expect in a tome that "accentuates the positive" and generally takes a conservative tack, the Founding Fathers, Ronald Reagan, business entrepreneurs of various types, and Abraham Lincoln all come off well, while FDR, JFK, LBJ, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton take a pounding. Andrew Jackson and Theodore Roosevelt get saddled with more blame than is customarily attributed to them for assisting in the growth of "big government," the gradual development of which serves as the book's "negative throughline." Libertarians will loudly disagree with the book's interpretation of the Civil War as being overwhelmingly about slavery and only tangentially about "states' rights." To their credit, the authors pay plenty of attention to the slavery issue, minority rights, and other black marks on America's cosmic score sheet, but they also emphasize the country's ability to ultimately deal with its problems and do not pretend that no progress has been made. There are several dreary stretches (mostly dealing with economic issues) and the writing seems to become a little rushed as we approach the last 25 years, but overall, this book is well-worth anyone's time and effort. ...more info
- Too Overtly Slanted
Although I agree that Howard Zinn's History should be debunkedl, I question whether this overtly slanted the other way approach is the best way to do that. Given the subjectivity that pervades academia at this time, it is probably impossible to expect an historian to produce an objective History. Perhaps it is better to read histories written before passion overtook objectivity, such as Tindall's "America" (which leaves off at the 70's), and rely on compilations of contemporary news reports and competing Opinion pieces to expose students to the recent "history" of the past 20 years, which cannot be fully known or understood as all of the relevant diaries and "classified" papers have not yet been made public....more info
- I am so torn on this book
Breezed through Bill Bennet's 'America: The Last Best Hope' part 1 last year, in hopes of reading an even-handed survey of our history. I'm tired of revisionist trash that distorts or ignores historical facts in order to serve some contemporary political agenda. I was left wanting -- Bennet is a lousy writer, mostly recounting the tales of others and being very redundant in the process.
So when I saw this book, written by actual historians, I was hopeful. And it is far better written -- better prose, real reasoning and analysis, and adequate citations.
But by page 600 or so I have found so many factual errors that I am genuinely concerned about the overall worth of the book. While these may sound minor, if these mistakes were overlooked by the authors and editors -- these simple facts -- what deeper, more complex issues are flawed?
1. The authors list the Battle of Kasserine Pass, in 1943, as an American victory, when in fact it was a stunning defeat for woefully under-trained and poorly equipped American forces.
2. The 442nd Regimental Combat Team (RCT) -- the famed Nisei who joined the Army from Japanese internment camps and became the most highly-decorated unit in US Army history while fighting in Italy -- is referred to as a 'division' -- last I checked, 3-5 regiments make a division; the terms are not synonymous.
3. The authors state that the 82nd ABN Division fought the Germans at Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge...I'm pretty sure the veterans of the 101st ABN would take issue with this, since they -- and not the 'All Americans' of the 82nd -- were at Bastogne.
4. Teddy Roosevelt jr, who was the assistant division commander of the 4th Infantry Division, which landed on Utah Beach on D-Day, is mis-identified as having been a Lieutenant General at the time, when in fact he was two grades lower at Brigadier General. Oddly, they don't mention that he was awarded the Medal of Honor for her service on D-Day.
Okay, so I know my WW2, and it may seem like I'm nit-picking, but consider this: if these simple facts are wrong, what else did the editors miss? What else did the two authors get wrong, too? There were analyses and conclusions I read earlier in the book with which I disagreed or differed, but now I'm concerned about the bulk of the history covered that I don't know as well as WW2 -- what else did they get flat-out wrong?
It flows well, goes into adequate depth, and covers all the bases it sets out to...but I don't think I can trust it....more info
- A Patriots Guide is superb
Schweikart and Allen have written a unique and excellent book. I like it better than any U. S. history text that I have read. It is solid political history, but is valuable also in economic history--especially in persuasively explaining the rise of the U. S. to being a world power. ...more info
This is an obvious shot at a peoples history of the united states. To bad its garbage. Not only is it poorly written and researched, it sucks. I love how people are using the word patriot to sell ideas and policies which are against american ideas. Sucks...more info
- The Backbone of Every Conservative Library
The is a biography of our country, written by two historians as a work of love. Oh, yes, the flaws are there for all to read, but the great contributions that the USA has made to mankind are on display, front and center. "A Patriot's History" is a much-needed corrective to most of the American History surveys that I have read - and I have read a number of college level and high school texts. Most of them reflect the "hate America" perspective that permeates today's community of history scholars.
Schweikart and Allen acknowledge alternative interpretations much more readily than the other texts, making for some interesting historiography. In connection with the endnotes, the serious reader can dive into controversies and take a "we report, you decide" approach to history. Perhaps most other texts don't take this approach (acknowledging interpretative controversies), because in their orthodox world, only a leftist slant CAN be correct.
If you doubt my observations, take the book for a "test drive". Read a chapter in "A Patriot's History" from an era that you are familiar with and then read the corresponding chapter from another survey text. You will quickly see a stark difference between the two, especially the chapters dealing with the last 70 years.
Schwekart, an economic historian at the University of Dayton, is especially strong in his discussion of economic issues and events. Economic history, especially from a capitalist perspective, has been largely ignored or marginalized by historians for many years. If you feel, as I do, that it is vital to understand the role of economics and capitalism in our capitalist society, then you need to read this book. No other survey text I have read approach's "A Patriot's History" in its coverage of those topics.
Finally, conservatives have an American History text that challenges the hegemony of the "looney left". ...more info
- It had to happen eventually...
And by that I mean a history of the United States from a purely right-wing ideology. The authors state their intentions as to recognize the flaws in America's history, and to reject the notion of "My country right or wrong."
This is fine and good, but it does seem rather funny to me that in this book, the Democrats get all the scathing attacks and the Republicans seem to get off scott free. Just an observation there...
For a book that seems like an obvious attempt to counter Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States," all I can say is this: At least Zinn was very upfront about his intentions; in the first ten pages of his book, Zinn lays out exactly what his take on U.S. history is, and the perspective he is writing from.
The Republicans take a beating in Zinn's book, but the Democrats don't get off easy. Zinn is critical (very critical) of Clinton, Carter, Johnson, and even lobs criticism at FDR. That's more than you can say about this book's treatment of Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush.
I give this two stars because the writing is very good, but I would appreciate a little ideological honesty....more info
- A valuable source book
An accurate and useful view of history can never be gotten from one single source. An accurate knowledge of history is crucial if we want to avoid making the same catastrophic mistakes over and over again. i.e. do you understand how Hitler gained power? Would you recognize the techniques if they were instituted here?
If you doubt that American history has been rewritten, go to a used book store and find older books and compare them with books published after the 50s and 60s. Find out what has been excluded, whitewashed, distorted, spun or misrepresented. You can still do this. If you do not, your children may not be able to do so....more info
- An abstract ideologue "history" (haha) of the USA
That this book is avaliable "from under $5 dolares USA" is a testiment to its 'worth' in this case. Actually, $4.25 is too much to charge for this 'book'. Rather than use more space than I have energy to write, and ALL to read~ and that I am writing what will be unsavoury to readers who are of 'partisan right wing , neo -conservative, religious fundamentalista', etc etc etc presuasion,
I see the negative votes pouring in, the ironia not lost, yesterday, 28/7/2008, some crazylouco was arrested for a tipico USian shooting spree, but this particular palha?o (clown) forgot to do what these maniac usually do, he "forgets" shoot himself.
His reason for killing so many innocent, at a child's perfomance of this play called ANNIE~~ he said he didnt like liberals!
He should have a wonderful time in that alternative terran society known as the USA penal system!
boa viagem !
People are crazyloucos in general, but those Usians of the right/religious/neo con seem more often not, crazier still
allow me comment on the SUPREMO ABSURDO that is the book's title, a "patriot's" history.(???)
What type abstraction will we refer one a "patriot"?
How is a patriot defined?
the author seems believe it cannot be, for ex.~ Howard Zinn.
To give proper credit ,this author is 'honest' to let all know he "borrowed" the concept of this book's silly title from Zinn's famous "A People's History of the USA".
I will guess he was quite offended by the history contained within signore Zinn's book, which is respected world wide in all its translations and offers a viewpoint that can be used along with the "official" history,~ one can then become more informed and closer to "the truth".
So regards to Zinn, author says is a socialista, implies Zinn is not a patriot, and this book somehow "answer" to Sr.Zinn, and impies this book I review "sets a record straight"???
Is one who criticises policy/action that is unsound somehow not considered a patriot?
Or can one be a patriot, and to criticise/protest unsound policy, inhumane practices, etc. and bla bla bla....if the powers that run his beloved country are not acting for the good of the commons, both domestic and international.
This author defines Signore Zinn as a "socialista", does the USian citizen designate that a socialista cannot be patriotic to his /her country?
It is possible that European/South Am¨¦rican/Asian or African communista/socialista parties are NOT patriotic to their homeland?
Outside of USA, everywhere except for the dictatorial or religiously fundementalista regimes (usually INSTALLED and/or supported by USA, by the way..) you find MORE than the " ONE party with two sides" system that exists in the states.
Most USian STILL do not realise this, or choose ignore this fact.
Also, study your history (READ ZINN INSTEAD!!)~ USA, you once had socialista/communista candidates!
These parties, just the words themselves, are as demonised, so then become useless in discourse in USA. Agnew and Reagan alone, well, unfoar just to criticise them, but the RED SCARE was very important to keep USians a frightened and huddled mass, just as the war on "terrorism" does at time of this review I write.
So this author , he decides (?) a NEW definition of this word "patriot", no??
Look it up , the definition of patriot and see if it applies to the rantings of this author. I jump the gun to inform all! it does NOT!
ALL the nonsense that has been written in USA since partisanship has become the rule, not exception in this most confused of Empires....it is tedious and tiring the continuous assault of subjective ficcions, this surely will be revealed by future archeologistas as the "golden age of BS", how could it not?
Also, Zinn's book is continued to be criticise as "revisionist history".
the reality~ it is just written with the viewpoint from "the other side" opposed to "the winners", who always write the so called histories.
Supported with MUCH documentation is the Zinn book, this waste of forests, not so.
One must conveniently 'forget" the true history of the USA~ not to forget,ex.~ USA liberated Europe from fascism.....with a SEGREGATED military. That does not get much attention, does it?
Tuskeegee experiments , slavery, intervention in other country elections/civil rights,refusal to let countries nationalise their resources, etc etc etc...
This past cannot be buried, or sugary coated and made "acceptable"
USA, ..just move on and try do better. and STAY away from ficcional books like this one!
However, if you are of the presuasion of partisanship this author belongs, why waste good money on a ficcion, and do one need to be a choirmember who need a preaching.
You agree with this author already, as most the Amazon reviews confirm.
For you whose minds are already made up, may I suggest(?)~~ spend the $$ and take your wife/husband to dinner,filme.Give the money to a favourite charity, etc.. Just do not waste it on this book, no no!
ZERO stars too GREAT a rating for this book, I feel I am being generous, ...more info
- Yes, ONE star. Yes I only read the first 5 pages. Here's why:
A few years ago, I read People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present (P.S.) Now, granted, the only reason I read it was because it was mentioned in the movie Good Will Hunting. I believe that Matt Damon's character states that "it will blow your mind." And it did. Honestly. Here was a book that presented our heroes for who they really were: Ordinary people with more to their lives than just the two or three lines given to them in the history books or in the movies. The best example I can give of this is that Ms. Helen Keller, who I grew up knowing only as a deaf and blind person who somehow found a way to communicate with the outside world, was also an avid socialist. Now, I'm not a socialist (I think. haha j/k) but even knowing that there is something far more to her story than just what is presented on TV was very enlightening, especially considering with her activity, she was probably very proud of what she was doing and would've wanted people in the future to know her more for her socialism than her handicap.
So, I get online tonight and I check my recommended reading from Amazon, and I come across Patriot's History, and the first two things I notice aside from the obvious reference in the title is a similar font and flag on the cover. Okay, this is obviously a reaction to People's History and I would imagine that it's from the opposite point of view from People's History. No problem there. But fortunately I got a chance via Amazon to read the first few pages, and after doing so, I'm probably never going to read the entire book, but I have good reason for not doing so.
The author of People's History presented history with information that is readily available, but was left out of our textbooks. So, when I was taking history in school, I, like you (if you're American), was presented with the story of Chris Columbus. They told us how he was a hero b/c he discovered the land that we now live on today. Over the years, I got more and more information and eventually learned that he never set foot on the continent (which is why it is named for Ameriggo Vespucci and not him), but I mean, that really wasn't a big deal, either. Granted, they could've just told us in first grade. . .
Anywho, I get to People's History, and on the FIRST page there is account of what Columbus found when he got to Hispa?ola, from HIS OWN JOUNRNAL: how they swam to meet the boats, how the people were nice and friendly and gave freely of themselves, how they didn't know anything about swords as one person cut himself on the blade---
---How he could come back with 50 men with guns and enslave the whole population.
I bought the book b/c of that page alone.
And keep in mind, this is not an opinion or point of view. It's COLUMBUS' OWN WORDS!!! So, tonight, when I get around to Patriot's History and it not only neglects to bring this up as though it isn't relevant, but also portrays Columbus as a hero and the entire movement as heroic, I stopped and thought that this was the exact same thing that they taught me in school. Why would I pay for this book if it's not presenting anything I haven't already learned? I'm sure that Columbus and other historical figures are far more complex than simple hero worship, and that's what I want to learn about. I fully accept that if it wasn't for him and the circumstances surrounding his trip, that the world might not be what it is today, but he did not simply set out to make history. He had a life, a certain agenda, victories and defeats, and it is a disservice to those of us who study his legacy to only see him and others only from one point of view. What exactly does that teach us?
So once again, to summarize: If you want to learn something that you may not have heard before, read People's History. If you want to go over the stuff that you learned in school already, read Patriot's History. ...more info
- Trash, propaganda, as usual
I am even more amazed by what the conservative reviewers
write than I am by what the authors write. We "just don't
understand how a free economy works."??? Well, we understand
that a free economy begins by outlawing slavery.
America is a much freer place today for most people
than it was when it was founded. The story of who
fought to make it that way would be interesting.
Rationalizations about how it was all good all
along are just ridiculous....more info
- Just a tad on the biased side of things...
If considering buying this book, you only need read the excerpt provided to let you in on its agenda.
We are informed in the first several pages that Tenochtitlan was a "monstrously large" city. One wonders if the authors would have used that characterization if they were truly striving for a balanced history.
The authors seem barely able to conceal their glee at the thought of Cortez killing over 100,000 Aztecs in the sack of the city. We are assured that it is a righteous stuggle, the Aztecs were inhuman monsters, and it was the least the poor Spaniards could do to bring the savages God and government. It seems the authors forgot about the atrocities committed by Columbus and Spaniard rule. (Incidentally, in Zinn's book, both Aztec and Spaniard atrocities are addressed)
Please, please, do not buy this book. ...more info
- A model for fascists everywhere.
This book exemplifies everything that's wrong with this country right now. No one is interested in truth, they merely want to neuter one extreme by proclaiming the other as gospel. I'm a professor of history, and find this book as dangerous as any published in the last 50 years. Whatever happened to the middle ground? Wake up people. History isn't about right and wrong, it's about the many shades of gray that color everything that makes America what it is today. There is no need to deny the bad and embellish the good. Books like this are an insult to everything this country stands for. It is tripe like this that give the Brown Shirt analogies some credence. Avoid this book at all costs. ...more info
- Actually 3 stars, but if we're going to play the game...
I would rate this as a three star book, perhaps three and half. However, since every liberal and Marxist rates it as one star, whether they've read it or not, I figured I would play the game too.
Now, on to the book itself. First off, including an interview with Rush Limbaugh as a preface is laughable. It also really tainted my approach to the book, and I must say I bought it in -spite- of a Limbaugh interview, not because of it.
Since the book is well covered in other reviews, I will address only a few specific points of interest.
First, despite extensive coverage of Reagan, neither HIV nor AIDS appears in the index. It seems odd to me that you can cover Reagan's virtues without at least balancing that by mentioning his (lack of) reaction to the appearance of AIDS in America.
Perhaps for me one of the most annoying aspects of the book was the way in which the author(s) threw in unneeded little comments with exclamation points. While not quite the style of an Archie! comic, its still distracting. As an example, while refuting the lack of religion during the Confederation Congress, he thows in: "God was not only alive and well, He was quite popular!". Doesn't seem to me that's appropriate analysis for any history text. Just tell me the role of religion in that period, thanks, and don't editorialize on how great it was that religion played a role.
Their treatment of the Indians and the slaves does seem rather balanced. Again I could find no mention of Chinese labour building the railroads, only a brief mention of Teapot Dome (and -no- mention of soldiers being called in), so the history is at times quite selective.
I should throw out here that I am moderately religious, I'm not Chinese, and don't have AIDS, so these weren't personally passionate issues for me, lest you think I'm picking on pet peeves.
I really hope at some point someone writes a non-apologetic history that is non-judgemental and didn't have such bias in its selection of topics. I wish Stephen Ambrose was still alive... His treatment of Eisenhower was so eloquently balanced that I'd have loved it if he could have written a full US History. Maybe McCollough (sp?) will take a shot at one day.
Until then, it looks like you have to read Zinn, Johnson, and this one and sort it out yourself. Perhaps an obvious agenda is better than a hidden one....more info
- Excellent and comprehensive resource
I used this book for several history courses. It is excellent and provides a thoughtful, detailed perspective on America's history....more info
- Some excerpts
Here are two excerpts from the brief section on American life in the 1950's:
"This optimism had a spiritual emptiness that characterized many of this generation, the efforts of preachers such as Billy Graham, Norman Vincent Peale, and Oral Roberts notwithstanding. Later surveys would show the 1950s generation to be in many ways one of the least religious groups in American history, and this may in part account for why their success--while genuine and admirable in many cases--was fleeting. Sooner or later, a sandy foundation of civic virtue, unsupported by deeper spiritual commitments, would crumble [into 60's rebellion]." (p. 654)
"As if to follow [Hugh] Hefner's lead, in 1957 the Searle pharmaceutical company brought out the birth-control pill, which proved instrumental in delinking sexual intercourse from childbearing or, put another way, in separating consequences from actions." (p. 655)
As Jack Nicholson says in The Departed: if you go for that sort of thing, I don't know *what* to do for you....more info
- American History for Americans Who Love America
I was so thoroughly impressed with A Patriot's History that I immediately adopted it as the standard text for my American History survey courses at the community college.
Finally a textbook about United States History that illuminates the enduring contributions of this great democratic-republican experiment to world history. Sweikert and Allen elevate the great principles upon which this great nation was founded, while acknowledging the exceptions in our practices as a people.
The authors have exposed the truth regarding Joseph McCarthy, FDR's New Deal, LBJ's Great Society, and Reagan's extensive contributions to America and the world. They have also reminded students that Washington and Jefferson were great men and brilliant leaders. They have easily debunked forty-five years of Marxist slandering of our American nation.
Thank God for this text. May our children actually learn of the greatness of our leaders, citizens, and way of life.
This book isn't "debunking" anything, it's nothing more than propaganda. It has, as most right-wing texts, tried to make itself out to be "patriotic" but it's not.
Lying about Presidents might strike some on the right as patriotic, if directed at President Clinton, but it's not.
Just the chapter on the Clinton Presidency ought to reveal the biases of this book, it calls Hillary "aggressive" (as though that is a fault) and claims that she was too unattractive to be a politician on her own so she used President Clinton (described as "not too deep", and constantly berated for not having a moral center, as if that's anything more than a judgment based on his not sharing the authors's morals) to get her into unelected power.
This book pushes so many right-wing buttons, I'm sure it'll fly off the shelves. That says nothing about its factual accuracy, which is lacking.
Also, read some of the incredibly snotty-but-positive reviews, and you'll get a feel for just who the intended audience is. ...more info
- Oh brother...
I thought it might be nice to get a view of history that's written from a different angle.
Or maybe the book would highlight issues and events other works had (deliberately) left out.
But if those critical of Abu Ghraib and the (handling of) the war in Iraq are simply referred to as "left leaning" and "anti war", this can not be considered a history book, balanced or even patriotic.
It is nothing more than a bitter and self righteous opinion piece, merely addressing those that hold the author's beliefs to begin with....more info
- The best american history available
I bought Patriot's History for my own education as a homeschool mom. This resource has made me better equipped to answer questions from my kids when they come up, and I'm looking forward to the age when my kids will be old enough to read it for themselves. I like the balance in the book - the author doesn't hesitate to bring up the good, the bad, and the ugly. You'll find in the first few pages that it differs a great deal from traditional textbook propoganda - if you think that traditional elementary textbooks have their facts right you'll probably be disappointed here! It's nice to have a reliable resource on my bookshelf that gives a fresh perspective. ...more info
- About Time Somebody Wrote the Truth
Year after year I have had liberal teachers telling me how rotten America is and how wrong the Europeans were to civilize the western hemisphere.
Now, reading this book I'm seeing for the first time in my 23 years what the TRUTH is about my American history.
It really makes me wonder how all these America hating ideologues came to take over the schools. It is sad that my generation was lied all these years by hard left radicals pretending to be educators.
Thank you Mr. Schwiekert and thanks Sentinel Publishing.
This book should be required reading in every High School in America....more info
- Patriot's History review
I have yet to do more than browse through the book, like what I read so far....more info
- Comprehensive and Detailed
After reading this book I felt like I had taken a series of Masters Degree courses in American History. I like hearing from the perspective of authors who believe that our country has blemishes on it's past, but is one of the greatest forces for good in our world. ...more info
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