HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: A Patriot’s History of the United States: From Columbus’s Great Discovery to the War on Terror
Authors: Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen
Publisher: Sentinel, reprint edition published in 2007
Related website: http://www.penguin.com (publisher)
Language level: 3 (occasional cursing and profanity in quotations)
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Teens and adults
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Schweikart, Larry, and Allen, Michael. A Patriot’s History of the United States: From Columbus’s Great Discovery to the War on Terror (originally published in 2004, updated version published in 2007, by Sentinel, a member of the Penguin Group USA Inc., 375 Hudson St., New York City, NY 10014). We picked this book up a few years ago on the sale table at Barnes and Noble to serve as a reference to accompany historical studies in our homeschool. It ended up being the primary source for our younger son Jeremy’s junior-year American history course. For the past thirty years, many historians and history professors, such as Howard Zinn in his A People’s History of the United States: 1492 to Present, have allowed their leftist biases to distort the way America’s past is taught, always emphasizing instances of racism, sexism, and bigotry in our history while downplaying the greatness of America’s patriots and the achievements of “dead white men.” A Patriot’s History of the United States, by Larry Schweikart, conservative historian and professor of history at the University of Dayton, OH, and Michael Allen, professor of history at the University of Washington, Tacoma, seeks to correct those doctrinaire biases.
Beginning with the discovery of the New World by Christopher Columbus in Chapter One, “The City on the Hill, 1492-1707,” the book covers the history of this nation from its colonization and founding, through its trials and triumphs, down to Chapter Twenty-Two, “America, World Leader, 2000 and Beyond.” While it doesn’t gloss over the problems and mistakes of the past, it also doesn’t fail to point out where we got it right! Of course no single book, not even one of 932 pages, which include copious footnotes and an index, can relate all the details of every important event in our nation’s history, but this book provides a better overview than many others. Some people complained about a few factual errors in the original edition but said that they were corrected in the reprint. A former high school teacher and now a college History Professor in western NC wrote, “For home schoolers, this book is your dream. You left the system for so many reasons and this book will explain many of those reasons.” Larry Schweikart, with Dave Dougherty, has also written A Patriot’s History of the Modern World: From America’s Exceptional Ascent to the Atomic Bomb: 1898-1945 (2012).