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America's Forgotten History, Part 1: Foundations [Kindle Edition]

Mark David Ledbetter
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (141 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $1.50

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Book Description

History is written by the victors. But do the victors in America’s forgotten debate really have it right? Do they even think about whether it is America’s destiny to be both a nanny state and garrison state? American’s Forgotten History questions standard understanding from a constitutionalist point of view.
This, the first of five volumes, looks at the English Civil War, fought between Puritans and Cavaliers. It then follows Puritans as they flee Cavalier power to Massachusetts and later Cavaliers as they flee Puritan power to Virginia. Puritans and Cavaliers allied against the mercantilism of England to form a new system based on the Magna Carta, the Glorious Revolution of 1688, the English Bill of Rights, and the Enlightenment philosophy of Locke and Montesquieu. They would maintain their uneasy alliance until they fought another civil war on a new continent.
After the American Revolution, parties formed around Jefferson and Hamilton that would frame American’s philosophical debate until the collapse of Jeffersonianism at the Democratic convention of 1896. The debate, so important in the 19th century and so important if America is to rediscover itself, is ignored by the victors of the debate, those who give us standard American history. Modern historians extol activist war-like presidents, high taxes, super government, and aggressive international militarism. The Constitution, as it was written and intended, makes all that impossible.
This volume, Part One of American’s Forgotten History, covers English roots, the colonial period, the Revolution, the Constitution, and the first four presidential administrations, those of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and Madison.


Product Details

  • File Size: 1475 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Mark David Ledbetter; 3 edition (April 12, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003GXEU90
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,087 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
108 of 112 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing dull about this history! July 27, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
"America's Forgotten History, Part One" by Mark David Ledbetter is the American history book that I wish we had had when I was in high school in the 1950s-1960s. I wish that high schools were using it today. The author does a marvelous job of relating the how and why, not just the who, when, and where that many history books focus on, and he does it with a style that grabs the reader immediately like a great novel. (Even though we know the ending!)

Part One includes America's beginnings through the War of 1812 and covers the presidencies of George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison. America's beginnings were actually in Europe, particularly England, dating back to the English Civil War in the mid-17th century. In a manner that reminded me of the old TV series "Connections," the author, like James Burke, demonstrated how interconnected events in England and other countries influenced the colonists in America. Mr. Ledbetter's connection of the American Civil war to the English Civil War was one of the most remarkable conclusions that I've read in an American history book.

But most of the story the author weaves is from the earliest settlements along the Atlantic coast through the War of 1812. He gives a good sense of how chaotic the years following the revolution were, especially as the state delegates met to draft the Constitution, and afterward as the members of the three branches - Executive, Legislative, and Judicial - worked to carve out their place in the new government. During these years the battle raged between advocates of a small, limited federal government and those who wanted a very strong federal government.
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70 of 78 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars History at 90mph November 1, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In the Foreword Mr. Ledbetter attempts to immunize himself from criticisms by clearly stating that he's not a historian and doesn't pretend to be one. So be it. This is a reasonably solid story told by a layman, and though at times he clearly is stating his opinions from a libertarian point of view he gets the bulk of the details he chooses to cover correct. Every author brings a perspective to their writing -- this gentleman does us the favor of placing his firmly in the foreground.

Mr. Ledbetter covers one BIG swath of history in short order in this book. It's not bad history, but it could have been more thorough and requires documentation. Topics that he'd do well to cover in more detail (and in many places would further support his perspective) are skittered across in what feels like an effort to get caught up to modern-day issues in a hurry. Without references to source material the reader is left adrift, unable to dig deeper into some pretty significant points in English and American history. It only costs $1.50 so I'm not too torn up about it, but without prior knowledge of the subject matter most readers will only come away with a bare hint of America's timeline. That's a shame, because I get the feeling the author has more insight and more to say than what appears on his E-Ink pages.

Documentation forces an author to do his homework. It makes him gather and organize, makes him elucidate better. Mr. Ledbetter didn't do that -- this book is essentially a riff through history. He would garner significantly more respect from his readers were he to spend the time to provide more structure, but again, for $1.50, it's hard to get too up-tight about that level of detail. This was money well-spent for me. This is a solid layman effort, and an indication of what publish-to-Kindle can do for new writers looking to plant their flag.

J.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Book On American History August 2, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I discovered this gem after noticing the author on Kindle boards. He appeared to have some similar interests to me and to be quite intelligent. I figured I would give his book a try. I am glad I did.

I thought this book was excellent. I've learned much from it. I've already downloaded part two and am excited to start it. I have begun to recommend it to friends.

The book helped tie together all the separate bits and pieces of early American history that I have picked up through school and reading. It contains lots of interesting facts and stories. It clarified some points that I was vague on.

I highly recommend it.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm lucky to have stumbled across this author... September 8, 2010
By MorganB
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I stumbled across this book while browsing the Kindle store, and feel fortunate to have found it. I have no idea why Ledbetter's work isn't much more widely known. It's a crime that people like Anne Coulter and Glen Beck have such a large audience, while Mr. Ledbetter's work is buried deep in a small corner of the Kindle store! As soon as I finished this book I purchased part 2 of this series and Globocop, both of which are equally amazing.

Mark David Ledbetter excels at presenting the libertarian point of view without coming across as a crazed lunatic, a problem among many libertarian authors who seem interested only in throwing red meat to their target audience. I'm a huge fan of Tom Woods, Tom DiLorenzo, Murray Rothbard, etc., but they all fall short of Ledbetter when it comes to explaining the moral arguments in favor of libertarianism to the uninitiated. His writing is more of an appeal to reason for those who might be described as fence-sitting neoconservatives or progressives. I'm sure that if his work were more widely read, many hearts and minds would change.

I look forward to parts 3,4, and 5 of this series. Mr. Ledbetter, if you're reading this, PLEASE continue this series to the end!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A lot of information that I was never taught and/or did forget about.
Published 1 day ago by candice schiavi
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Any American Citizen needs to know what this book offers.
Published 9 days ago by Arthur D. Hayes
4.0 out of 5 stars good book
Good read has a good hook. Jumps around a bit but altogether a good read. Would definitely recommend to friends and family.
Published 10 days ago by Jmorrow
5.0 out of 5 stars Sound be sent to every person in government as a handbook
This is the history that should have been taught. Not only does the author tell you what happened, but he tells you why and how the person came to have the views that they did. Read more
Published 15 days ago by gw
1.0 out of 5 stars Revisionist history from a right wing fanatic.
This book is right wing propaganda, or revisionist history from the view of a right wing fanatic. Don't waste your time.
Published 19 days ago by David J. McNeely
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding!
Fabulous, simply fabulous. I have not learned more from any history book I have ever read and that is a long list.
Published 1 month ago by Jay Elliott
5.0 out of 5 stars Good, well researched read
Good, well researched read. Very educational. Could use a good editor.
Published 1 month ago by Bill
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Everybody in America should read this one!
Published 1 month ago by thcookie
5.0 out of 5 stars it's still good after the age of 70
I have a BA in history and this just reinforced everything that I had learned and forgotten. I'll always be grateful that I have read this volume and can't wait to finish the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ann R. Mcdermand
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting, thorough, and very worthwhile
This history has the advantage of being succinct and yet a thorough coverage of the history. I don't agree with all his ideas, of course. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Merrill Gee
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More About the Author

I was born in Tennessee but grew up in a small town east of San Francisco. Summers were spent living out untold (and, to adults, untellable) adventures in the yellow oak-sprinkled foothills of Mt. Diablo. The oaks, though, along with the walnut orchards down in the valley, have all been leveled to make way for the great suburban migration. My family was part of that migration, but an early part, thus a part on the edge. Our house bordered wildlands. We kids, at least those so inclined, had access to a world of magic and dreams. Now the small towns in the valley have all grown together into one borderless mass. Only the profile of Mt. Diablo, the steady pole of my childhood's inner compass, remains.

I grew up intellectually, but not academically, inclined. That is to say, I studied, but rarely what was assigned at school. I scraped by, only really finding my place years later in graduate school. I pursued linguistics, after discovering that Language - not literature, not foreign language, but language itself - was a window on the human mind. I built my career in Japan on that, first as an English teacher, much later as a teacher of linguistics and American history. I've been in Japan over thirty years, now, raising a family and becoming rather Japanized in my ways. I've kept tabs on America with both the intimate understanding of an insider born there but also the perspective of an outsider. Dual sight has, I believe, been fruitful.

In any case, after 9/11, I applied my insider-outsider perspective to a search for answers to that tragedy. The result was first Globocop and then the first three volumes of an envisioned five or six volume history of America, a history written from a constitutionalist, somewhat libertarian, and always (I hope) sympathetic point of view. The great American experiment is in crisis but not yet buried. This is, I hope, my small contribution towards reviving it.

I have published a number of "real" books and academic papers in Japan dealing with language and English learning issues. The four here on kindle, though, are self-published. Many thanks to Kindle-Amazon for opening the world to indie writers.

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