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Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims: Time-Travel Adventures with Exceptional Americans Hardcover – October 29, 2013
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There are a lot of things wrong with Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims. But, first, the good news: mostly—with some exceptions—dates, names, and places aren’t a problem. Context, however, is in the eyes of the beholder. But let’s begin with the opening author’s note. After offering a wide-ranging definition of American exceptionalism that begins with the statement that the U.S. is a “land built on true freedom and individual liberty, and it defends both around the world,” Limbaugh goes on to explain that the Founders believed all people were born to be “free as individuals.” Really? All people? That should give anyone pause who knows something about history. Then it’s on to the narrative. The book’s premise is that a substitute history teacher, Rush Revere, who dresses like his hero, Paul, along with his talking horse, Liberty, can go back in time. This takeoff on the Magic School Bus and Magic Tree House series has none of their charm. The text is wordy, and many of the pages are spent on the banter between Rush and Liberty, occasionally amusing but mostly just filling space, as do the tedious explanations of the way time travel works. The actual historical episodes are marked by commentary. For instance, Rush Revere watches the passengers on the Mayflower and notes that “the hardship they experienced . . . is something modern-day people will seldom, if ever, experience. . . . They hadn’t been spoiled by wall-to-wall carpets, central heating and microwave ovens.” The fact that many modern-day people do experience incredible hardships, albeit different from the Pilgrims, seems not to have occurred to Limbaugh. And let’s not forget the cross-branding. The images of Rush Revere throughout the book are the same as Limbaugh’s logos used on his Two if by Tea website, where he sells, yes, tea. The book ends with the first Thanksgiving. Apparently, the turnaround for the struggling colony came “when every family was assigned its own plot of land to work.” Rush Revere drives home the point that it was after the Pilgrims stopped sharing the profits that success was ensured. Even Squanto adds, “No more slaves to the Common House.” As for factual inaccuracies, Paul Revere never said, “The British are coming!” That was Mr. Longfellow. Despite the book’s numerous shortcomings—as history, as fiction, as comedy—it will generate demand in some libraries, thanks to the author’s celebrity. Order only as that demand dictates. Grades 4-7. --Ilene Cooper
About the Author
Rush Limbaugh is host of The Rush Limbaugh Show—the nation’s highest-rated talk radio program, with an audience of more than twenty-five million—and the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims, Rush Revere and the First Patriots, Rush Revere and the American Revolution, Rush Revere and the Star-Spangled Banner, and Rush Revere and the Presidency. Visit RushLimbaugh.com and RushRevere.com.