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Our Sacred Honor: Words of Advice from the Founders in Stories, Letters, Poems, and Speeches Hardcover – October 6, 1997


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Our Sacred Honor:  Words of Advice from the Founders in Stories, Letters, Poems, and Speeches + America: The Last Best Hope (Volume I): From the Age of Discovery to a World at War
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (October 6, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 068484138X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684841380
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #992,788 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

From the man who gave us the bestselling Book of Virtues: thoughts from America's founding fathers.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

The indefatigable Bennett (The Moral Compass, 1995, etc.) continues his campaign to inculcate the old values into Americans generally--and young Americans more particularly--this time out by gathering selections from the writings of the generation that secured America's independence. The brief excerpts, drawn from speeches, letters, poems, and memoirs by both little-known patriots and by such luminaries as Benjamin Franklin, John and Abigail Adams, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson, are divided into such categories as ``Patriotism and Courage,'' ``Civility and Friendship,'' ``Justice,'' and ``Piety.'' Bennett says that the volume is intended to allow Americans to ``see both our patrimony and our basic civic obligations; to keep our country safe and to hold our purpose high.'' There's no doubt that many of these passages are stirring and persuasive. But despite Bennett's brief introductory essays, the excerpts seem too fragmentary, and too admonitory, to be entirely compelling, and the larger context of the 18th century--a period of intense and but complex thought--is absent. Still, given the current enthusiasm for Bennett's crusade, the book is likely to be widely circulated. (First printing of 250,000; Book-of-the-Month Club/Quality Paperback Book Club alternate selection; author tour; TV satellite tour) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

William J. Bennett served as Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy under President George H. W. Bush and as Secretary of Education and Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities under President Reagan. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from Williams College, a doctorate in political philosophy from the University of Texas, and a law degree from Harvard. He is the author of such bestselling books as The Educated Child, The Death of Outrage, The Book of Virtues, and the two-volume series America: The Last Best Hope. Dr. Bennett is the host of the nationally syndicated radio show Bill Bennett's Morning in America. He is also the Washington Fellow of the Claremont Institute and a regular contributor to CNN. He, his wife, Elayne, and their two sons, John and Joseph, live in Maryland.


Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Should be on every coffee table.
J. Johnston
Never have I been so moved as by the understanding I have been able to acquire from this book.
J. P. Ledbetter
My husband is enjoying this book VERY much.
Karen Harrison

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 12, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Our form of government has been the most lasting, widespread innovation in modern history. As wonderful as that is, in many ways it is even more wonderful to return to the frame of mind and the values that engendered this invention.
Although (as Bill Bennett rightly points out) our founding Fathers (and Mothers) often fell far short of their own ideals and were profoundly skeptical about the potential of people to do the right thing, they also aspired to a kind of virtue on Earth that combined true nobility of spirit and deed with good relations towards others.
Bennett has put these ideals into the following categories: patriotism and courage; love and courtship; civility and friendship; education of the head and heart; industry and frugality; justice; and piety. You can dip your inquisitive toe into any of these, whenever you want. .... I suggest that in addition to buying a copy for yourself, that you plan to give this book as a gift to your children and grandchildren as they reach the age when they will begin to make important moral choices for themselves. .... In most cases, I felt like the material here was stating timeless principles that do apply today ....
Bennett does a nice job as editor in explaining the context of each passage. His love of these people, these ideals, and these words is obvious. It will move you. And hopefully inspire you to follow the good advice in those words.
Nicely done, Bill Bennett! This is a good use of history . . . to help us learn not to repeat the mistakes of the past needlessly.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on May 29, 2001
Format: Audio Cassette
I started listening to the audio tape some time ago in the car, and was initially somewhat ambivalent about the program. However, within fifteen minutes, I was thoroughly engaged, and fifteen minutes after that, wiping held-back tears from the corners of my eyes, wondering if "Nathaniel" (as in Hale) would be a good name for my future son.
Our forefathers, with courage and genius, created the most immitated society the world has ever known. How proud and fortunate this audio book makes one feel. I'm committed to listening to it with my teenage nieces and nephews on a "captive" drive sometime. It'll be a great topic for discussion.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 31, 1999
Format: Hardcover
As a military man who joined to serve his country and nothing more, this book is a breath of life giving air. To know that I am not the only one who feels the need to give all to this country. Mr. Bennett does an outstanding job pointing out the easily missed down falls of modern day society without ever calling out a single name or pointing fingers. WE ARE ALL responsible and just as guilty as the next for the decisions that have been made concerning American Morality. And Mr. Bennett makes that point abundantly clear. I just barely got through his introduction when pride and fear began to overwhelm me. This country is in trouble and as he says in his book "it may not have all the answers but it is a step in the right direction. Thank You Mr. Bennett for reminding me that I am an American and I have the right to stand for what is right. And I too gladly give of my time and life if required in service to this great nation.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book was a gift from my uncle, and one that I was thrilled to receive. I have a passion for learning about the Founders and the War that defined the way we live today. The author brings out the best quotes, poems, and letters from the most influential men in American history. Their level of devotion is unparalleled throughout the world. I find it most admirable that these men relied on God for their wisdom and through prayer and faith they pledged their "sacred honor" to the cause. I am only a high school student, but I understand that these values apply to everyone in every class. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for God or guidance.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Monty Rainey VINE VOICE on October 25, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is like the Americana version of Bennett's previous excellent compilations, THE BOOK OF VIRTUES and THE MORAL COMPASS. In the first incredible book, Virtue's, Bennett takes the reader on a journey that spans the globe and bridges time with stories of virtue from ancient Rome to the modern world, and writings from Aesop to Yeats; and the Moral Compass is predominantly poems and fables. OUR SACRED HONOR, as the dust jacket directs, is filled with "Words of advice from the Founders in stories, letters, poems and speeches."

This volume contains the same basic structure as Bennett's previous works. Seven chapters expose the reader to a compilation of our Founders thoughts and examples of Patriotism and Courage, Love and Courtship, Civility and Friendship, Education of the Head and Heart, Industry and Frugality, Justice, and finally, Piety. Like we have come to expect from Bennett's work, upon closing this book, the reader will doubtless come away, a better person. As you read the wisdom of our Founders, self-examination becomes eminent.

There will be those who may choose to "kill the messenger" and shun this work citing Bennett as a "hypocrite" due to his indiscretions, but these short sighted and shallow individuals are ignoring a simple fact, Bennett, as a writer, or perhaps more specifically, a compiler of existing writings, is second to no one. His brilliant works are like a road map for the journey of life, and this fine book lives up completely to the high standard we've come to expect.

Buy this book. Read it with your children. Teach them the important lessons in life they are not getting from our school system. You will be rewarded a thousand times over from the price of this book.

Monty Rainey
[...]
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