Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Century Turns: New Hopes, New Fears

A Century Turns: New Hopes, New Fears, by William J. Bennett

A Century Turns: New Hopes, New Fears, by William J. Bennett, is a textbook version of a political magazine. It is a commentary which takes the reader from 1998 – 2008. William J. Bennett writes a balanced account of history which has the reader scratching his/her head thinking about the events he/she may have lived through. The key word here is ‘thinking’. This is why I think the book is extraordinary.

Bennett describes ten years of political events that jog the reader’s memory. He writes with his well established conservative view. He wants his readers to be informed about facts leading up to an historical event, and he gives us the background information and tells us why things occurred the way they did. He gives his opinions and reasons for his own actions at the time. The reader is left with knowledge to ponder and food for thought to keep or form new opinions.

Living in the moment of history is one thing, however, going back in time and reading facts about how and why an event happened is another. Bennett brings awareness to his readers and we may experience a new enlightenment that brings closure to our personal political confusion.

As a former American History teacher, I highly recommend this book to middle and high school students, as well as readers of all ages. It is an informative yet thought provoking book.

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Book review by Mary Crocco

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