Friday, November 4, 2011

Review: America: The Last Best Hope, Volume III by William Bennett

Looking back on my years as an undergrad, I often regret not taking more history courses. Actually, not more history courses, any history courses. I took U.S. History I and U.S. History II for college credit my senior year of high school. This was great for me in high school as it allowed me to receive college credit for taking classes in my favorite subject, but the drawback was that I had finished all of my college history requirements before even setting foot on campus.

These days I indulge my love of history with titles like William Bennett’s America: The Last Best Hope, Volume III. I haven’t the pleasure of reading his first two volumes, but I devoured this one in two evenings.

Bennett doesn’t make secret his political leanings or specific thoughts on the makers of history (he footnotes them and his own connections throughout), but he presents a very balanced treatment of the events of American History from 1998 to 2008. Bennett has an easy writing style and doesn’t make an attempt to defend his opinion on the events of history, but simply presents them from his point of view. As someone who worked with many of the “movers and shakers” of this period, Bennett enjoys the unique position of being able to provide not just the facts but also how they drove the decisions of those involved.

Though it heavily focused on the political side of history, I found the occasional forays into the nonpolitical history to be the most enjoyable sections of the book. I’d have liked to see the book balance more between the world of politics and other items of historical note, instead of focusing so much on the politics of these decades.

Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone with even a passing interest in history, though those of us who indulge a deeper interest will certainly get more out of it.

The Rating: 
 4 of 5 stars (An interesting book that kept me turning the pages.)

Disclosure of Material Connection:
I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC's “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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