I have more than one title by William Bennett on my bookshelves and I am familiar with the essential elements of what I perceive to be his worldview. Thinking I already had a pretty solid idea of what the book would contain, I began reading A Century Turns without the usual anticipation and gusto with which I usually start a new book. However, in only a few paragraphs, I was drawn into the last twenty years of American history, chronicled by a man who had not only lived through it, but had a unique vantage point throughout. It is rare, today, to find a history text that is not riddled with revisionist propaganda exposing the writer’s bias and even though I felt I would share many of Mr. Bennett’s beliefs, I expected his particular worldview to “color” the recording of the events he documented. I was wrong and pleasantly surprised.
A Century Turns is a detailed look at the people and events of the last twenty years in America, a bird’s eye view of what was hoped, what actually was and what it ultimately led to. Bennett lays out events and deeds with the emotion expected from someone close to a situation and yet, without the typical pronouncement of judgment on the cast of characters. It is as close as I have ever seen to an unbiased accounting of events as they actually occurred and the author’s “insider’s vision” of the events that led us to them.
With an occasional foray into the presidencies of Carter, Reagan and George H. Bush, the primary focus of this text is all that America experienced during the presidencies of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, bringing us into our current day. A Century Turns is a refreshing look at current American history, that won’t be reflected in mainstream media or even, I fear, the textbooks of American school children. It is journalism as it was intended, not as an op-ed piece to promote a personal agenda, but a factual and faithful chronicling of the events of the last two decades in our country. A Century Turns is not a prophetic tome. It brings us to our place in time, today, and does not pronounce a judgment on our future, but a hope for it. Bennett draws the reader to marvel at the transformation of America in an awesomely brief period of time and whether you agree with the course that was taken or the one we are on now, you won’t be able to help feeling that same amazement at the sheer magnitude of changes our country has undergone in only twenty years.
I enjoyed the book! It will be an invaluable resource on our homeschooling bookshelf.
I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com 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.”