Book Review: A Century Turns - William J Bennett

Friday, October 22, 2010 Vishaal 0 Comments

A Century Turns: New Hopes, New FearsTitle:A Century Turns - New Fears, New Hopes--America 1988 to 2008
Author: William Bennett
Published by : Thomas Nelson
Hardcover: 336 pages

This book is a rough outline of all the political controversies and lowpoints of America between 1988 - the start of the Senior Bush era, through the Clinton years and finally the Junior Bush era. Bennett offers his insights and comments of the good, the bad and the ugly on the political scenario in America during this tumultuous period.  The author has tried to summarize the events during this time, trying to stay as much impartial as possible (He is a strongly conservative republican), however as in all books of this genre, whether left wing or right wing, the bias will tend to float to the top.

As the blurb states:
As America collectively exhaled at the end of the Cold War, we loosened our grip on the fear of nuclear confrontation for the first time since WW2. Some scholars even characterized the collapse of the Soviet Union as the end of history itself. Peace was palpable. But America's domestic and global vitals changed almost instantly, and turbulence, not tranquility, marked the turn of the Century. 

Going back twenty years - before we had even heard of the Internet, before global terrorism had reared its ugly head and when Obama was an unheard of name- this book traces some of the most important events that had an impact on the present day American lifestyle. This book was written as part of a trilogy for United States high school students, if Wikipedia is to be believed, and hence tries to cut through a great deal of material at the same time keeping track of the most important major events between the beginning of the Senior Bush era to the Election of Barack Obama in 2008.

The book is written from a conservative point of view (no shocker there), but I thought that he gave the Clinton administration and the Democrat party a fair shake. This book is no harangue about the evils of the pinko/commie/socialists plotting to take over the world.  Often times most high-school level courses get so mired down in the revolutionary and civil war that the end of the year comes and the students have only just gotten into the Vietnam War. "Modern day" history was rarely covered in depth and what a shame as these events typically play such an important role in understanding what's happening around us today. With the format of this book, one can read a relatively concise account of modern-day history.

I thought this book was well written and very informative. Any history freek like myself would love reading this book. I love America's history and I love how the author didn't seem bias throughout the book. He kept to the facts, but made it interesting. It didn't seem like I was reading a book that could easily be used in a history class to be taught lessons with. It was put simple enough that for anybody could read it and understand it.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”