Tuesday, June 5, 2012

America: The Last Best Hope (Volume III)

If you've been reading my blog for some time, you may remember that history is not one of my strong subjects. However, I am committed to lifelong learning and therefore include non-fiction as well as historical fiction in with all the books I read each year. As I've gotten older matured, I've developed a much better appreciation for history, and thus enjoy reading about history more each year.

I recently enjoyed America: The Last Best Hope (Volume III): From the Collapse of Communism to the Rise of Radical Islam by William J. Bennett. This well-written book covers American history from 1988 through 2008 - basically my entire adult life. It begins with the election of George H. W. Bush as the 41st President of the United States and ends with the election of Barack Obama as the 44th President.

Twenty years may seem like a short time period historically, yet this quote from the introduction helps put these relevant years in perspective.

Twenty years ago, if you had asked someone to "e-mail me" or said, "check out my Web site (or blog)," or began a phrase with "www" or asked if an article was "available online" or tried to tell someone what was on your "iPod playlist," you would have received a blank stare. "Amazon" was known simply as a forest in South America, "blackberry" was a fruit, and "google" meant nothing.

It's amazing to me how much has changed since I graduated from high school the year before the first President Bush was elected. As I read through this book, I remembered what I was doing in my life when many of the major events occurred: the Gulf War began (working full-time as an office manager & attending college at night toward my BBA); 9-11 (teaching classes at Lamar State College four days after I met Robbie in person); Hurricane Katrina (teaching 8th grade & attending college at night toward my MBA).

The author of the book, William Bennet, worked in President Ronald Reagan and President George H. W. Bush's administrations (as Secretary of Education and Drug Czar, respectively) and therefore has an insider's perspective on the workings of our nation. One of the things I liked best about the book was that it was written from a more conservative view than what we normally get from our liberal news media. I would definitely recommend this book (along with Volumes I & IIwhich cover our nation's history from its inception up to 1988) as a great book about the history of America.

[This book was sent to me free from BookSneeze, but as always this is my unbiased opinion of the book.]


  1. It is indeed amazing how technology has changed our world in such a short time! This sounds like the kind of book Craig might enjoy
    Alison xx

  2. I'm not much of a history person either, but I find I enjoy more books about this subject now. That quote is really eye opening on what has changed. It reminds me of when I tell my boys we couldn't watch cartoons all day every day, just on Saturday mornings. They think that's crazy.


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