Thursday, December 1, 2011
Book Review: America's Last Best Hope Vol. 3 by William Bennett
Twenty years ago, John McCain was serving his second year in the Senate, and Colin Powell had just been promoted to chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. There was no Fox News Channel, no American Idol. Saddam Hussein and the Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeni ruled Iraq and Iran, respectively. George W. Bush was the fairly unnoticeable son of the then-president. If you asked someone to “email me,” you would have received a blank stare, and “Amazon” was a forest in South America. Finally, 20 years ago a young man named Barack Obama was elected the first black president of the Harvard Law Review. The two decades from 1988 to 2008 have proved to be some of the most pivotal in America’s history. Based on a lifetime of experience in government and education, William J. Bennett defines the events that shaped American history during the final years of the century.
I used the first volume of this series when I was teaching US History. It was a wonderful resource for not only myself to get some great information, but it served as supplemental reading material for my students. So I was excited to be able to read this volume as well.
This book relies more heavily on first person comments and memories from the author that is because it is a time that the author lived through. Events that he experienced. What he does provide along with his comments are additional notes at the bottom of some pages that serve as additional insight into Bennett's comments.
While there is some political views seeping through the material, overall I really liked this book. It's one that I will keep in my permanent library for not only personal use, but to use in my classroom. If you are a fan of history that this book is for you!