Most helpful positive review
170 of 175 people found the following review helpful
Make American history and American Patriotism a part of your daily family discussion
on October 3, 2008
This is another of William Bennett's reading resources for families. Yes, you can (and should) read this book as an individual, but it is more useful and more powerful when you take time to go through the daily readings as a family. You r kids need to become familiar with American history, and you cannot and must not leave it to the schools. Sure, not every detail will stick everyday. No big deal. Just going through each reading will at least get the sounds of the names, places, and events in their minds so they will provide resonance when they hear them at a time when they are prepared to take it in and remember it. I am sure you have had the experience of learning a new word and then finding everyone using it. They were using it all along, but you simply had not been familiar enough with it to hear the word. Then one day you were. Same thing here with the historical events discussed.
How is the book organized? There are 365 daily readings (I guess you get February 29th off every four years) that present a short article about a key historical event from American history that took place on that day. Many of these have a small engraving to also provide an image. At the bottom of the page is a list of other key events from that day and the year they occurred. The authors call this American History Parade.
There are also several other articles provided throughout the book. The first is an introduction to this book. The others are "Twelve Great Reasons to Love a Great Country", "Flags of the Revolutionary War", "The History of the Stars and Stripes", "Fifty All-American Movies", "Flag Etiquette: Guidelines for Displaying and Handling the U.S. Flag", "How the Declaration of Independence Was Written and Signed", "The Declaration of Independence", How the Constitution Was Written and Ratified", The Constitution of the United States", "The Bill of Rights", "Amendments to the U.S. Constitution Since the Bill of Rights", "The Gettysburg Address", "The Emancipation Proclamation", The Pledge of Allegiance", "The American's Creed", "Songs of American Patriotism", "Poems of American Patriotism", and "Prayers for the American People". I think this collection of articles is worth the price of the book all by themselves!
If you home school or actively participate in the education of your children, you can use this book as a terrific way to spark discussion and help build a collection of important facts in the minds of your children (and yourself). Just making reading, thinking, and talking about American history, patriotism, and the glory of America a part of your family's daily life will have great benefits and pay huge dividends in the lives of your family members.
I think this is a must have for your bookshelf.
Reviewed by Craig Matteson, Ann Arbor, MI