Item description for A Patriot's History of the United States: From Columbus's Great Discovery to the War on Terror by Larry Schweikart & Michael Allen...
Overview Argues against modern educational practices that teach students to be ashamed of American history, chronicling our nation's past using a straightforward approach that highlights America's virtues while placing its less favorable periods in a political and historical context. 25,000 first printing.
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.
Citations And Professional Reviews A Patriot's History of the United States: From Columbus's Great Discovery to the War on Terror by Larry Schweikart & Michael Allen has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
New York Times - 06/05/2005 page 30
Ingram Advance - 01/01/2005 page 84
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Studio: Sentinel HC
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.3" Width: 6.4" Height: 1.8" Weight: 2.85 lbs.
Release Date May 27, 2010
Publisher Penguin Group USA
ISBN 1595230017 ISBN13 9781595230010
Availability 0 units.
More About Larry Schweikart & Michael Allen
Larry Schweikart is the co-author of A Patriot's History of the United States: From Columbus's Great Discovery to the War on Terror, and is a professor of history at the University of Dayton. He has written more than 20 books on national defense, business, and financial history.
Larry Schweikart currently resides in Dayton, in the state of Ohio.
Reviews - What do customers think about Patriots History Of The United States?
Restoring An Imbalance May 15, 2008
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, 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.
Little to the Right May 10, 2008
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.
Some excerpts Mar 28, 2008
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.
A Thorough but Biased History of the United States Jan 31, 2008
"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.
A Must Read for Every American!!! Jan 29, 2008
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd be glad to debate facts, but I will not debate emotional outbursts or positions not based on fact.