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The Mystery of History, Vol. 3: The Renaissance, Reformation, and Growth of Nations Hardcover – June 16, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
Example - the very first lesson contains a quick overview of the Middle Ages with the information that "eventually England and France began to fight each other because the English wanted complete freedom from the French. This long and fearsome struggle was called the Hundred Year War."
Umm...or let's try that King Edward III (who controlled more French land than the French king) claimed the throne of France, as did his grandson Henry IV and great-grandson Henry V. Very, very different.
And the BIG concept that the twin institutions of the Middle Ages, feudalism and the Papacy - which had provided security in exchange for personal freedom and spiritual guarantees in exchange for freedom of conscience - were crumbling and/or being challenged, thus ushering in Renaissance and Reformation and laying the foundation for the concept of individual freedom enshrined in US founding documents, is nowhere to be found as a uniting theme.
Also disturbing is the inclusion of rather salacious and unnecessary sexual details. And Hobar seems too often to rely on her secular sources and minimizes or ignores the Christian aspect of events; something that is strikingly odd in a homeschool resource advertised as showing how God has revealed Himself and is working throughout history. An example of this interesting perspective is the chapter on Cortes' conquest of the Aztec Empire. There is barely a mention of the truly dark and bloody religion of the Aztecs while Cortes is presented as solely motivated by greed, lacking "compassion" and "respect for the culture of the civilization" of the Aztecs, and possessing the opinion that their culture was "pagan and meaningless". The supplemental activities for older students suggests the student write a few paragraphs on "the importance of culture and the ramifications of the loss of it through conquest." This culture, BTW, waged continual warfare to supply itself with 20,000 to 50,000 human sacrifices a year; sacrificial victims that had their hearts cut from their living bodies and then were cannibalized. Cortes was joined in his conquest by 200,000 native warriors who had been presented with the gospel by him and considered him a liberator. As I said, it's rather odd that a Christian author directs students to contemplate the loss of a culture that was the very definition of pagan while condemning the man who ended their horrible practices for his very accurate (from a Christian worldview) assessment.
I am using this book as the spine for a JH co-op history class (the group's choice) and am prepared to have to correct and supplement, as well as address presentation issues like those in the Cortes chapter. Home users may not be as willing to do this. Note also from the first selection, the writing is quite simplistic and not even JH level, let alone HS.
This is an adequate history survey for elementary level (Cosimo de' Medici is "close friends" with artistic greats rather than a patron of the arts) where a more simplistic presentation may not matter (though some of the sexual details may) but it lacks depth required for use on its own as a JH or HS text.
Her treatment of Islam would leave one thinking this is a benign and benevolent religion.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm looking forward to using this as soon as I get the accompanying student study guide.
I'll be a return customer.