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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
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on February 2, 2009
The American Patriot's Almanac: Daily Readings on America

REVIEW OF: The American Patriot's Almanac: Daily Readings on America
Authors: William J. Bennett and John T.E. Cribb
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Published: November 2008
515 pages

This Almanac is not a book with which the lover of reading is likely to curl up to devour by firelight. With 365 brief daily items or stories, it is meant to be read daily. However, anyone who enjoys learning about our nation's history will enjoy reading it and return to it, over and over again. The American Patriot's Almanac is full of good information, inspiration, and a number of important documents from America's history. While some are included in many history textbooks--e.g., the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, and the Bill of Rights--this book is more complete for their inclusion.

One feature of this book that I enjoyed was the "American History Parade" at the end of each day's reading. This "Parade" lists approximately five events that took place on the same date in history, from distant to recent past. For example, on July 21, 1925, The Scopes "Monkey Trial" ended with the conviction of teacher John Scopes. On the same day in 1969, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, of Apollo II, ended their visit to the moon.

Other items found between months include Flag Etiquette (p.183), Fifty All-American Movies (p. 138), both Songs and Poems of American Patriotism (pp. 368 and 421, respectively), and other documents we might expect to see here, including The Gettysburg Address and The American's Creed (pp. 329 and 336, respectively). The reader will also find the Code of Conduct for members of the U.S. armed forces (p. 328), authorized in 1955 by President Eisenhower. The authors explain that "The code is an ethical guide that instructs armed forces members when they are prisoners of war or are in danger of capture." Every American should familiarize him- or herself with this Code and consider what it requires of our fighting men and women.

The American Patriot's Almanac is a great book to pick up, from time to time, or to read daily, as its authors intended. Because it contains such a wide variety of gems within its pages, I recommend the book.
22 comments| 29 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
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
33 comments| 34 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 10, 2011
This falls short for the Kindle.The daily reading is good and interesting the "American History Parade" portion falls short. The end if each sentance is cut off by 2 or 3 words making understanding the text and content problematic to say the least
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on May 24, 2015
An anecdote a day drawn from American history.

My edition still has a formatting problem: the "on this day in history" lists exceed the right margin and require manipulations to read. This happened on a Kindle 4. The publisher needs to simplify the markup in this section.

Outside of the formatting problem, the list-of-anecdotes genre works well on a Kindle. I read 2-5 at a time whenever I'm feeling nostalgic for middle school American history stories.

On the minus side, the anecdotes don't have references to further reading, so this work remains a compilation of anecdotes rather than an invitation to dive into any of the stories presented.
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on December 13, 2008
Bill Bennett does a great job putting compendiums of uplifting stories together, like his stories for children and moral compass stories. This book is a daily reader or almanac with historic American facts and heroes and stories you may not have heard about. Every day has several events that happened on that day. It also has a story about a hero or piece of americana, like the Great American Seal. Between each month are other lists (50 great American movies) or essays (how the constitution was written).

I think this would make a great gift for a high school graduate. There is probably a lot in this book that they were never taught in school. Kids seem to be taught more about other cultures than our own and when they learn about our country, they are mostly made aware of the faults. We have made mistakes, but that doesn't negate the good things we have done. Actually, now that I think of it, any high schooler can and should read this book. It would be a great balance to what they are taught in many public schools.

Here is the publisher's page.
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on March 30, 2009
I bought this book several weeks ago and read it aloud at the dinner table each evening. My kids (ages 8 and 11) give me long faces when the book comes out. However, the readings are short and more often than not they generate a discussion of the topic. This is exactly the result I was seeking - a brief history lesson and family discussion. Thank you Dr. Bennett.
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on December 22, 2008
The American Patriot's Almanac is a beautiful testimony to the history of the United States.

In school, history was boring and tedious. Not with this book. It would make a great history book for students and adults alike. It is filled with historical stories and they are linked to the each day of the year. It can be an additional devotional to your library.

An American History Parade of events is included in each story. The story brings history to life. It represents real people, real events, real meaning to Americans today.

I have fond memories of President Ronald Reagan. On June 12, 1987, he insisted that Mikhail Gorbachev tear the Berlin Wall down. By his persistence, it happened less than three years later. This freed millions of people.

Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. Before he signed it, his words were, "I never, in my life, felt more certain that I was doing the right than I do in signing this paper." Slaves were finally free. From this day forward, January 1, the beginning of a New Year, will bring new meaning.

The authors do not stop at historical facts and wonderful true stories. They expand the book to include: Prayers for the American People that were said by Harry S. Truman, The Reverend Peter Marshall, and Abraham Lincoln among others. Songs and poems are shared.

The United States wouldn't exist as it is today if it weren't for the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, Bill of Rights, Gettysburg Address, The Pledge of Allegiance, The Emancipation Proclamation, and much more is included in this wonderful beautifully written book.

I am proud to be an American and I thank the authors, William J. Bennett and John T.E. Cribb for writing this book. I will treasure it.
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on June 6, 2009
For this post, we're taking a look at Dr. William Bennett and John Cribb's The American Patriot's Almanac: Daily Readings on America.

This book focuses on daily readings centered around different people and events from American history. Dr. Bennett weaves an exceptional story of America's history from the dramatic story of the Jamestown flood through the American Revolution and Civil War all the way to present day. In addition to the daily readings, you'll also see complete versions of The Declaration of Independence, The United States Constitution, The Gettysburg Address, and several more important historical documents.

For myself, this proved to be a valuable classroom resource for middle school students. I used it to start the class each day with a student reading that day's entry. After the reading, we as a class would discuss what we other information we knew about that day's person or event as well as what information we'd like to research to find out more. Students genuinely looked forward to this part of the class each day. I'd highly recommend every social studies teacher, especially those with American history classes, buy a few of these books for the classroom!
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on March 13, 2016
I feel so blessed to live in the United States of America! With the blessing of living in this great country comes the responsibility of knowing as much as I can about our country’s founding and guiding principles. A wonderful help on this journey of discovery is The American Patriot’s Almanac: Daily readings on America by William Bennett and John Cribb.

I am now on my second time through this book, and I’m still discovering how much there is to love about the USA. Each day Bennett and Cribb present a snapshot of a notable event in our nation’s history, that makes me so proud of our heritage all over again. There are cool stories about both the well-known and little-known folks who sacrificed and invested to make this country what it is.

At only a page a day, there’s no excuse for American patriots not to read this book through over the course of a year, and re-discover what a privilege it is to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave. We all owe it to our future generations to keep these memories alive, so that no one forgets our amazing heritage.
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