Dumbed-down and politically manipulative history, civics and social studies textbooks are leaving millions of our nation’s youth ignorant of what makes America great — and leading many of them to actively despise their own country. National tests repeatedly show that a staggeringly high number of high school and college students know little and care even less about their country’s past. Newspaper columns and television reports today are full of cynicism. Many express doubts about American motives on the world stage. Some Americans are all too ready to believe the worst about our leaders and our country — present and past. The consequences for our future could be very grave. But here at last is an antidote: William J. Bennett’s monumental America: The Last Best Hope: Volume I: From the Age of Discovery to a World at War.
“America: The Last Best Hope” is a vibrant and unashamedly patriotic account of what has made this country great. Enormous (512 pages) and sweeping in scope, this first volume begins before the Founding of the United States and ends as World War I looms in Europe. Unlike modern-day Leftist-influenced histories that treat the American story largely as a series of missteps and injustices, this book is filled with the glory, romance, and uniqueness of the American experience. Bennett (compiler of the bestselling Book of Virtues) tells the truth, gets the facts out, corrects the record, and puts forward a reasoned, balanced presentation of the American story. In the process, he doesn’t shrink from any hard truths about our nation’s past; but he wrote this book because he recognized how desperately we need to recover pride in our past — if we are to have any future at all. Says Bennett: “America was, is, and — we pray — will continue to be the place where more than anyplace else, dreams actually do come true.”
This book is one of the few American histories that give us the opportunity to enjoy the story of our country, and to take pleasure and pride in what we have done and become. Bennett also does something unheard of in today’s politically correct American histories: he stresses the obligation of gratitude that every American owes to those who made it possible for us to lead free and happy lives. He details just how much is due to titans such as Lincoln and the Founders before him, and to many others who followed in their footsteps. The obscurity, opprobrium, and oblivion to which PC textbooks have consigned such American heroes, Bennett brilliantly argues here, are just the opposite of what they deserve. He demonstrates how, that time and again, our ancestors and our contemporaries have chosen wisely and have by their demeanors defined us as a people, and over and over again have shown the almost uniquely American capacity for self-renewal.
For well over a century people around the world have regarded America as their best earthly hope. After a generation of Hate-America-First politically incorrect indoctrination, Americans need to recover a sense of why the world has seen our nation for so long as a shining city on a hill — and this book is a valuable tool to help us do just that. Bennett wrote this book, he says, in order to “encourage a new patriotism — a new reflective, reasoned form of patriotism,” and “to kindle romance, to encourage Americans to fall in love with this country, again, or for the first time. Not unreflectively, not blindly, but with eyes wide open.” America: The Last Best Hope will help you find reason to reclaim some of the hope and conviction we have lost — and to help others do so as well.
Some of what you’ll find in William Bennett’s proud, patriotic American history:
William J. Bennett is an American politician, commentator, and political theorist. A native of Brooklyn, New York, Bill Bennett studied philosophy at Williams College (B.A.) and the University of Texas (Ph.D.) and earned a law degree (J.D.) from Harvard. He is the Washington Fellow of the Claremont Institute.
In 1981 President Ronald Reagan appointed him to head the National Endowment for the Humanities, where he served until Reagan appointed him Secretary of Education in 1985. He served as Secretary of Education from 1985 to 1988. He also held the post of Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy under George H. W. Bush. In 2000, he co-founded K12, a publicly-traded online education company.
Bennett is a member of the National Security Advisory Council of the Center for Security Policy (CSP). He was co-director of Empower America and was a Distinguished Fellow in Cultural Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation.
Bennett and his wife, Mary Elayne Glover, have two sons, John and Joseph.
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