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Seven Events That Made America America: And Proved That the Founding Fathers Were Right All Along Hardcover – June 1, 2010

3.7 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Some events spotlighted in this overwrought right-wing screed, like Martin Van Buren's redesign of political parties in the 1820s and the Dred Scott decision, were genuine historical watersheds. Others, like the Johnstown flood and President Eisenhower's 1955 heart attack, an alleged milestone in government dietary nannyism, maybe not. What unites them is the theme that historian Schweikart (48 Liberal Lies About American History) reliably extracts: the federal government is incompetent and corrupt, and the founders would have abhorred its modern initiatives, from arts funding to disaster relief to the food pyramid. Some of Schweikart's arguments, like his contention that Dred Scott precipitated the Panic of 1857, are intriguing and plausible, but his conclusions run to rabid anticollectivist sermonizing, e.g., throughout history, all inventions, all major decisions have come down to a single person. (Take that, Constitutional Convention!) His credibility is undermined by factual misstatements (In 2003... the world was already reaching its population peak), paranoid hyperbole (beneath the obesity hysteria was a deep hatred of capitalism), and obscure mutterings about 'the Lysenkoist 'man-made global warming' nonsense and the 'other shooters' sighted at President Kennedy's assassination. Schweikart's tea party serves up an iffy blend. (June 1)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


“One of the greatest of the Founders, George Mason...urged on his countrymen the duty of frequent ‘recurrence to fundamental principles.’ I believe that is what Mr. Schweikart has in mind here: recurrence while there’s time. Based on the evidence he lays before us, we'd better not stand there, daydreaming.”
The Washington Times

“Schweikart has a powerful understanding of what might otherwise be overlooked aspects of history, and makes them relevant to the modern reader.”
Intellectual Conservative

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Sentinel HC; First Edition edition (June 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595230645
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595230645
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,164,895 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David M. Dougherty VINE VOICE on June 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Although one could argue with the author's choice of events in this volume, I found the selection very interesting if somewhat different than usual. After all, Dr. Schweikart does not contend these are the only events that shaped America, only that these should be considered important and worthy of examination.

The events are:
1. Martin van Buren's creation of the Democratic Party and the spoils system leading to big government,
2. Chief Justive Taney's Dred Scott decision leading to a panic and a civil war,
3. The Johnston Flood as an example of how private enterprise ALWAYS handles a crisis better than the Federal Government,
4. Ike's heart attack gives birth to the food and health police,
5. Rock music spells doom for communism (at least temporarily),
6. Reagan learns that sending in "peacekeepers" is a fatal exercise in futility (but forgotten by Clinton and Bush),
7. Obama's charismatic speeches thrill the country, but plaster over inexperience and a lack of leadership with words, and the leftist media bias becomes a propaganda machine that would put Goebbels to shame.

Each of the first six underscores American exceptionalism and provides a counterweight to the liberal/progressive spin taught daily in American schools and universities. Then the comparison is made with the seventh, and one comes to realize how out-of-control the Federal Government in the 21st century has truly become.

This is a valuable work, and the review by the liberal/progressive Publishers Weekly shows how upset liberal/progressives can become when their propaganda is exposed through good scholarship.
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Format: Hardcover
I have known and worked with Larry Schweikart for over ten years. Once again I am impressed by his ability to cut to the chase by using micrcosm. The "7 Events" span several fields of American history, from the political (Jacksonian Demcocrats) to the socio-cultural (Rock and Roll music). They are connected in their reflection of essential American themes---democracy, individualism, anti-authoritarianism, and creativity, all of which spring from freedom. Schweikart has written much longer monographs and documented narratives. The expertise he gained from writing these books enables him to serve up seven pithy and fascinating (hi)stories. 'Seven Events That Shaped America' will make a nice addition to to the bookshelves of anyone seeking to expand their knowledge of the American past.

Mike Allen
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Format: Kindle Edition
Seven Events asserts the importance of some relatively unknown events in US history. Who ever heard that Martin Van Buren took American politics towards partisanship and away from ideology? The Johnston Flood has not had a prominent place in history either. Who knew that Eisenhower's health had policy implications (this one might be a stretch...)?

Seven Evens also reinterprets some well known events, like Dread Scott and the rise of modern music- but who ever thought that these events might have had major economic consequences?

I am not sure of all of the connections made by Schweikart will hold up to future scrutiny. But there is plausibility behind his claim that single individuals play crucial roles that change history. Furthermore, this book does make you think about our history, and that is its main value. We should not just accept any established interpretation of history.
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Format: Hardcover
The title is not claiming that these are the most important events in American history. But they are each very interesting because of the unforeseen ways history unfolded after they occurred. One of the requirements of being a compelling historian is getting the facts right, explaining them with compelling analysis, and telling the story with the page turning urgency of great story telling. Schweikart achieves all three in this fine book.

What are the 7 events?

1) How Martin Van Buren created the party system in order to win power by protecting slavery in the South and winning power in the North and West by not BEING from the South, but having "Southern Values". Along with this came patronage and the cynical notion of buying votes with government largesse. Sound familiar? Yep.

2) The Supreme Court decision against the slave Dred Scott's emancipation was so bad that caused violence and bloodshed in the west, gave energy to the rise of the new abolitionist Republican Part, and increased the likelihood of war between the North and the South.

3) How people in America responded to the tragedy of the flood following a dam failure in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Notice that it was the private sector response that fixed things quickly and ably. Compare that to the helpless dependence on the Feds for Katrina.

4) President Eisenhower had a heart attack during his second term in office which led to his program of "healthy living", which spread out into society and into government policy. Never mind that much of the advice has been dead wrong and overturned by later evidence. Never mind that there is no Constitutional power for a Nanny State to decide what Americans should or must eat and not eat.
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