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A Patriot's History of the United States: From Columbus's Great Discovery to the War on Terror Hardcover – December 29, 2004

4.0 out of 5 stars 566 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

In A Patriot’s History of the United States, Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen remind us what a few good individuals can do in just a few short centuries . . . . A fluid account of America from the discovery of the Continent up to the present day. (Brandon Miniter, The Wall Street Journal)<br /><br />No recent American history challenges the conventional wisdom of academics as aggressively as Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen’s A Patriot’s History of the United States. (Daniel J. Flynn, Front Page Magazine)<br /><br />There are a thousand pleasant surprises and heartening reminders that underneath it all America remains a country of ideas, ideals, and optimism—and no amount of revisionism can take that legacy away. (John Coleman, Humane Studies Review)<br /><br />A welcome, refreshing, and solid contribution to relearning what we have forgotten and remembering why this nation is good, and worth defending. (Matthew Spalding, National Review --The Wall Street Journal

About the Author

Larry Schweikart is a history professor at the University of Dayton.

Michael Allen is a professor of history and American studies at the University of Washington, Tacoma.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 944 pages
  • Publisher: Sentinel HC (December 29, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595230017
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595230010
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.8 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (566 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,483 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By No one of consequence VINE VOICE on August 1, 2008
Format: Paperback
It is axiomatic that there are at least two sides to every story, so when I stumbled across this book at my local library I was drawn in by the back-cover blurb that proclaims the author's purpose to counter what he describes as the blame-America-first revisionist history that predominates in modern scholarship, as epitomized by Howard Zinn. The reference on the front cover to the author's "Limbaugh Letter" interview made it clear to me what this author's perspective would be. This will be an automatic turn-off for many politically liberal readers, and explains the love-it-or-hate-it nature of most reviews. Notwithstanding the author's very up-front and unapologetic conservative perspective, I found this to be surprisingly (and refreshingly) balanced in its presentation. To dismiss this book as mere liberal-bashing or an ideological exercise is a gross mischaracterization.

By way of a few examples, FDR would be an easy target for a conservative ideologue to bash, but he is treated with surprising fairness in this book. Yes, the author levels some criticism at Roosevelt's New Deal statism, but a few pages later he praises FDR's pre-war diplomatic efforts with Japan (even while criticizing his handling of Hitler), and takes special pains to debunk the urban legend that FDR knew in advance of the Pearl Harbor attack and let it happen to drag the U.S. into World War II. Similarly, Truman is criticized for some of his domestic policies, but praised for his handling of the Berlin Airlift, while Eisenhower (a Republican) is taken to task for perpetuating and even expanding FDR's New Deal programs.
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I was predisposed to view the authors' approach favorably in that an antidote to the left-wing and Marxist textbooks currently in use in American public schools and colleges is sorely needed. In fact, there have been some studies that have shown many high school graduates to actually believe that the US is a dangerous aggressor nation, that capitalism is an evil, and that the only solution is socialism under a world government. Where did they learn this? In school, of course, and if they go on to college such absurd beliefs will be reinforced. One can only wonder where this will all lead.

The format of the book is to be commended, as well as the tenor of the writing. But keep your blue pencil out, because there are errors. For example, on page 78 the authors talk about Arnold's march to Quebec "Early in 1776" when it was actually made from September to November of 1775. There were not "many misguided" attempts to take Canada, but only two and it takes a lot of hindsight to label them "misguided." Canada was indeed the 14th colony, and although it seems today that efforts to incorporate it into the Continental government were doomed, it was nowise so certain at the time. Nor was Arnold's first attack on Quebec "repulsed" -- rather Arnold sent an emissary to demand the city's surrender which was refused since Maclean's Royal Highland Emigrant Regiment had arrived to defend the city. And saying that "Arnold staged a stubborn retreat that prevented British units under General Carleton from linking up with General Howe in New York" is a vast overstatement.

On page 79, Washington did not "pressed on to Princeton..." -- rather he went around Cornwallis to escape to winter quarters in northern New Jersey and collided with a British detachment at Princeton.
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I had written a review of this book previously and I came back to make a minor edit to that review only to find that it no longer exists. I contacted Amazon to ask why it had been deleted and they said that, because it included quotes by Abraham Lincoln, they had to delete it for copyright reasons. I pointed out that Lincoln quotes are not copyrighted and are a matter of public domain but, even I quoted someone else, that is not a copyright issue because of fair use laws and also because the quotes give credit to the original author. Amazon agreed and apologized profusely for their error. I won't try to reconstruct my previous rather lengthly review but I will summarize it by saying that allow this book reflects a refreshing viewpoint that is sadly missing these days, it is so riddled with factual errors that it is almost unbelievable. There are trivial to major errors on just about every page. I listed many of them in my previous review but I will only mention a couple in this review.

1) As unbelievable as it sounds, the author actually claims that John Wilkes Booth killed himself! I'm not kidding. He says that Booth "shot himself to death." Even a grade-schooler knows better!

2) He claims that Sherman hated Lincoln and he actually used the word "hated" and mentioned it several times in the book. That is absolute nonsense. It is true that Sherman was not impressed with Lincoln after his first informal meeting with him but he grew to have great respect as the war went on and he even acknowledge Lincoln's greatness. But the author claims that Sherman absolutely hated Lincoln! Pure nonsense.

3) The author actually claims that Lincoln was not only a Christian but that he became a reborn Christian later in life.
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