America: The Last Best Hope, Volume I: From the Age of Discovery to a World at War
William J. Bennett
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
America, how well do you know your history?
• Who quelled a coup d'etat by putting on a pair of reading glasses?
• Which U.S. senator was nearly caned to death on the Senate floor?
• Which first lady refused to serve alcohol in the White House?
• What famous inventor was called to find the assassin's bullet in President Garfield's back?
• Which successful candidate for president insisted on telling the truth about his sex scandal?
• Which beloved ex-president raced with death and poverty to write his best-selling memoirs and which famous humorist came to his rescue?
• Which president carefully read the trial notes of 303 condemned Sioux warriors and spared all but 38 from the hangman's noose?
• Which "four-eyed" future president beat up a drunken bully in a saloon?
In his Farewell Address, Ronald Reagan said if we forget what we have done, we will forget who we are. This book, written by one of Reagan's most loyal lieutenants, responds to Reagan's heartfelt call for an informed patriotism.
We all need to know more about this land we love. In this gripping tale of a nation, our country's past comes alive. Here is the story of those we chose to lead us and what they did with the awesome power we gave them. Join Bill Bennett for the great adventure. America's teacher will lead you on a voyage of discovery.
What others are saying:
"William J. Bennett artfully and subtly makes connections between our past and current events, reminding us ... that we are intimately and immediately connected to the extraordinary Americans who have bestowed upon us our great heritage.... [T]he importance of America: The Last Best Hope probably exceeds anything Dr. Bennett has ever written, and it is more elegantly crafted and eminently readable than any comprehensive work of history I've read in a very long time. It's silly to compare great works of history to great novels, but this book truly is a page-turner.... Prepare to have your faith in, hope for, and love of America renewed."
-Brad Miner, American Compass
"The Role of history is to inform, inspire, and sometimes provoke us, which is why Bill Bennett's wonderfully readable book is so important. He puts our nation's triumphs, along with its lapses, into the context of a narrative about the progress of freedom. Every now and then it's useful to be reminded that we are a fortunate people, blessed with generations of leaders who repeatedly renewed the meaning of America."
-Walter Isaacson, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life
"For too long Americans have been looking for a history of our country that tells the story of America's triumphs as well as its tragedies. Now Bill Bennett has come forward with America: The Last Best Hope, which tells the story-fairly and fully-from 1492 to 1914. Americans who have been reading recent biographies of the Founding Fathers will love this book."
-Michael Barone, US News & World Report
"Bill Bennett's book will stand as perhaps the most important addition to American scholarship at this, the start of the new century. For the past fifty years American historians have either distorted American history or reduced it to a mess of boring indictments of our cultural and political heritage. With this book Bennett offers to Americans young and old an exciting and enjoyable history of what makes America the greatest nation on earth.
-Brian Kennedy, president, The Claremont Institute
1830s, creating enormous pressure for more land. Immigrants and native-born citizens voted. Indians did not. Jacksonian democracy had proclaimed that the people shall rule. The American people, with few exceptions, not only supported but demanded Indian removal.71 Some of Jackson’s Senate opponents, notably Kentucky’s Henry Clay and New Jersey’s Theodore Frelinghuysen, spoke out eloquently against Indian removal. Frelinghuysen was a devoutly religious man. His ancestor had founded the Dutch
authority. Soon after achieving independence from Spain,Mexico had fallen under military dictatorship. In 1836, General Lopez de Santa Anna abolished the Mexican constitution with its guarantees of “states’ rights” to provinces like Texas. The Americans—many from Kentucky and Tennessee—who had flooded into Texas when Mexico ruled, revolted against the despotic Santa Anna. Frontier heroes Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie were among 183 defenders who held out against Santa Anna’s overwhelming force at
visitors’ galleries at the Wigwam with Illinois “leather lungs.” These were burly young men hired to shout their lungs out for Lincoln. Judge Davis took pains to show all the delegates that Lincoln could carry the states of the lower North. Lincoln was concerned by reports that Judge Davis was wheeling and dealing to get him the nomination. “I authorize no bargains and will be bound by none,” Lincoln telegraphed Davis.109 Davis reportedly replied when he read the note: “Lincoln ain’t here and
part of New York City, to the independent city of Brooklyn was the creation of engineers John and Washington Roebling. Opened in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge is still in daily use. Frenchman Gustave Eiffel provided a steel “skeleton” for the Statue of Liberty that would soon grace New York Harbor.* Andrew Carnegie—like Bell, a Scots immigrant—led the way in organizing the steel industry. (An expert telegrapher during the Civil War, Carnegie might have been thrown out of work, had he stayed put, by
ignoble line of the Stuart kings. Roosevelt didn’t mince words. Actually, the Duke of York’s government of New York was fairly enlightened. The Dutch had permitted English immigrants and French Huguenots to settle in their colony while they retained overall political control. As many as a third of the 1,500 colonists were non-Dutch. Under the new English colonial rule, freedom of religion and language were maintained. The patroons had little cause for discontent. When, briefly, the Dutch