America: The Last Best Hope, Volume I: From the Age of Discovery to a World at War
William J. Bennett
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
America, how well do you know your history?
• Who quelled a coup d'etat by putting on a pair of reading glasses?
• Which U.S. senator was nearly caned to death on the Senate floor?
• Which first lady refused to serve alcohol in the White House?
• What famous inventor was called to find the assassin's bullet in President Garfield's back?
• Which successful candidate for president insisted on telling the truth about his sex scandal?
• Which beloved ex-president raced with death and poverty to write his best-selling memoirs and which famous humorist came to his rescue?
• Which president carefully read the trial notes of 303 condemned Sioux warriors and spared all but 38 from the hangman's noose?
• Which "four-eyed" future president beat up a drunken bully in a saloon?
In his Farewell Address, Ronald Reagan said if we forget what we have done, we will forget who we are. This book, written by one of Reagan's most loyal lieutenants, responds to Reagan's heartfelt call for an informed patriotism.
We all need to know more about this land we love. In this gripping tale of a nation, our country's past comes alive. Here is the story of those we chose to lead us and what they did with the awesome power we gave them. Join Bill Bennett for the great adventure. America's teacher will lead you on a voyage of discovery.
What others are saying:
"William J. Bennett artfully and subtly makes connections between our past and current events, reminding us ... that we are intimately and immediately connected to the extraordinary Americans who have bestowed upon us our great heritage.... [T]he importance of America: The Last Best Hope probably exceeds anything Dr. Bennett has ever written, and it is more elegantly crafted and eminently readable than any comprehensive work of history I've read in a very long time. It's silly to compare great works of history to great novels, but this book truly is a page-turner.... Prepare to have your faith in, hope for, and love of America renewed."
-Brad Miner, American Compass
"The Role of history is to inform, inspire, and sometimes provoke us, which is why Bill Bennett's wonderfully readable book is so important. He puts our nation's triumphs, along with its lapses, into the context of a narrative about the progress of freedom. Every now and then it's useful to be reminded that we are a fortunate people, blessed with generations of leaders who repeatedly renewed the meaning of America."
-Walter Isaacson, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life
"For too long Americans have been looking for a history of our country that tells the story of America's triumphs as well as its tragedies. Now Bill Bennett has come forward with America: The Last Best Hope, which tells the story-fairly and fully-from 1492 to 1914. Americans who have been reading recent biographies of the Founding Fathers will love this book."
-Michael Barone, US News & World Report
"Bill Bennett's book will stand as perhaps the most important addition to American scholarship at this, the start of the new century. For the past fifty years American historians have either distorted American history or reduced it to a mess of boring indictments of our cultural and political heritage. With this book Bennett offers to Americans young and old an exciting and enjoyable history of what makes America the greatest nation on earth.
-Brian Kennedy, president, The Claremont Institute
unrelenting. Without intending it, Garrison had scalded his beloved boy. The child was delirious for days before dying in agony.62 Even this horrible tragedy, however, brought no self-doubt or humility to the rigid, determined Garrison. Harriet Beecher Stowe pleaded with Garrison to go easy on Douglass: “Where is this work of excommunication to end? Is there but one anti-slavery church and all others infidels?”63 Stowe recognized Douglass’s superior abilities. Once, when lecturing in Britain,
forts, by action of the general government. That would be a recognition that slavery is a sin, and confine the institution to its present limits. The moment that slavery is pronounced a moral evil—a sin—by the general government, that moment the safety of the rights of the South will be entirely gone.7 Andrew Calhoun, son of the great South Carolinian, was his state’s commissioner to Alabama. He wasn’t singing the Marseillaise. Instead, he offered a chilling parallel between the radicalism of
over the reins from the swift carriage’s owner, New York’s powerful financier Leonard Jerome.53* As it was, the crowds that came out to see Johnson cried out for Grant. And Grant was increasingly disgusted by Johnson’s vulgar, vituperative attacks on Congress. Completely lacking in dignity, Johnson responded to taunts from the crowd by getting into the gutter with his hecklers. He even bawled out that he would hang Congressman Thaddeus Stevens, a leader of the radicals, as well as the famous
speak Dutch and French. These language skills he put to good use in representing the colony. When a French Catholic priest came to Plymouth from Canada, seeking help in defending against the Iroquois, he was amazed at the welcome he received from Bradford, who showed remarkable deference and consideration to his guest: The governor of the place, named Jehan Brentford [William Bradford], received me with courtesy, and appointed me an audience for the next day; and he invited me to a dinner of
invited the corps to attend the first “scalp dance” ever witnessed by travelers from the East. With some care, Lewis turned down the chief ’s offer of a young woman to share his bed.61 After nearly two years of grueling marches and boat voyages, the Corps of Discovery descended the Columbia River to the Pacific. Clark captured the excitement of the corps in this typical journal entry: “Ocian in view! O! the joy.” They built Fort Clatsop on the Pacific shore and wintered over in 1805–06. They had