From The Wall Street Journal…

One theme of “A Patriot’s History of the United States” is the American character itself, which seems to produce principled leaders when the nation most needs them. We are given a portrait of Abraham Lincoln, of course, peppering his speeches with biblical references and stubbornly taking charge in the difficult years of the Civil War–even riding, unprotected, through the chaotic streets of the Confederate capital, Richmond, Va., after its capture. But the authors do not fail to include as well vivid portraits of Henry Clay and Stephen A. Douglas, who eloquently, if futilely, staved off a sectional crisis with the Compromise of 1850.  Read more…

From National Review…

Hearkening back to the histories and historians of the more distant past, A Patriot’s History of the United States is a new book that takes a very different approach to the course of human events. Rather than viewing those events as mere steps in an ever-advancing march of liberal history, it sees individuals and their ideas, and by extension nations and their principles, as the motivating force. And so it takes seriously the thoughts and actions of political figures: It demonstrates that qualities of deliberation and decision, character and virtue, matter deeply. Flaws and mistakes are there, too, but they are just that, which is to say they are exceptions and not the rule. The book doesn’t reinterpret history according to the academic fashion but seeks to present history as it happened, trying to understand the intentions of the main actors and the movement of events. Read more…

From The Claremont Institute…

“America’s past is a bright and shining light,” the authors state in their introduction. “America was, and is, the city on the hill, the fountain of hope, the beacon of liberty.” Every teacher and parent who has sorted through the piles of American history textbooks published in the last 30 years will know what a rare occasion it is to find a textbook with authors bold enough to affirm the old-fashioned patriotic sentiments held dear by so many Americans. With praise for America’s founders, the religious and moral principles upon which the country was built, and the free market that has facilitated American prosperity, Schweikart and Allen’s book reads much like civics and history textbooks used to. Read more…

From The Free Republic…

From what I can gather, American history as it is taught in most American schools these days consists mainly of a series of crimes committed against minorities and others by “dead white males”. The situation is similar in Australia, where we are routinely told that our white ancestors committed “genocide” against the Tasmanian aborigines — although the aborigines concerned in fact died out from the effects of white men’s diseases rather than white men’s bullets. Read more…

From Frontpagemag.com…

…It is typical of the New York Times to use a necessary attack on ideological history to make it appear- through such an omission- that the only sinners are on the far Right. Tellingly, Cohen does not alert Times readers to the quite different serious reinterpretation recently published, Larry Schweikart and Michael Patrick Allen’s A Patriot’s History of the United States. Any reader of Schweikart and Allen’s book will see immediately that it is a serious and substantive volume, based on a full recognition of the important secondary sources written by our major historians. While one may differ with some of their judgments and conclusions, no one would accuse them of conscious ideological distortions of the facts. Rather than let its readers know that conservatives are equipped to write honest historical interpretations, the Times omits any reference to this new book and lets Woods’ nuttiness stand as the representative book of conservative thought.  Read more…

From Libertyguide.com…

“History, especially as written by historians in the English tradition,” Christopher Hitchens once commented, “is a literary and idiosyncratic form. Men such as Gibbon and Macaulay and Marx were essayists and polemicists in the grand manner, and when I was at school one was simply not supposed to be prissy about the fact.” The truth is that history is more than factual inventory—it is a living, breathing legacy worthy of heated discourse; and if we are to engage the legacy of our forefathers (and foremothers!) in the twenty-first century, we must first reconcile ourselves to the debate. Read more…

Interviews and Discussions by Dr. Schweikart

Dr. Schweikart discusses the need for this book…

For a half a century, the interpretation of America’s story has drifted steadily leftward, sometimes almost imperceptibly and sometimes rather obviously. Whether through deliberate revision designed to question America’s unique place in the world—often out of guilt—or whether through the steady assault of race, class, “gender,” and other “oppressed/oppressor” scholarship, the overwhelming majority of U.S. history textbooks today have a distinct leftward slant. This became apparent to me more than a decade ago as I struggled to find a textbook that would emphasize the Founders and their visionary documents, analyze the New Deal critically (pointing out its myriad long-term harms), and deal with religion fairly rather than as a pathology.  Read more…

National Review Online interviews Dr. Schweikart…

NRO:So a “Patriot’s Guide” isn’t all good?

Schweikart: Absolutely not. As we say in the intro/jacket flap, we reject “My Country, Right or Wrong,” but we equally reject “My Country, Always Wrong.” I think you’ll find us quite critical of such aspects of our past-such as the Founders’ unwillingness to actually act on slavery on at least three separate occasions; or about Teddy Roosevelt’s paternalistic regulations and his anti-business policies. On the other hand, as conservatives, we nevertheless destroy the myth that FDR “knew” about the Pearl Harbor attack in advance. Instead, we try to always put the past in the context of the time — why did people act then as they did, and was that typical? Read more…

Front Page Magazine interviews Dr. Schweikart…

FP: What inspired you to write a patriot’s history of America?

Schweikart: It began years ago when I was teaching U.S. history and found a numbing similarity in all the U.S. history textbooks: they all seemed heavily tilted to the left. One of the first things that really convinced me to write a survey was a chart on debt and deficits in the then-Bailey and Kennedy book, “The American Pageant,” dealing with the Reagan years. The upshot was that federal debt and deficits just went off the screen under Reagan, and the authors had two charts to emphasize this–in case the students missed it. But I then noticed that their dollars were not in “real dollars,” and so I re-calculated the charts in real dollars as a share of GNP and found that they not only were wrong, they were so seriously distorted as to be meaningless. The worst deficits in American history, as a share of GNP, occurred under FDR, not Reagan, and the national debt levels under Reagan in real dollars as a share of GNP were about where they were under Kennedy. Read more…