Scheweikart & Allen A Patriot’s History Of The United States

Last updated date: August 19, 2020

DWYM Score
8.6

Scheweikart & Allen A Patriot’s History Of The United States

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We looked at the top American History Books and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best American History Book you should buy.

Overall Take

This book attempts an in-depth look at American history, including chronicling the country's involvement in both World Wars. It details economic policies and focuses on the values that have been an underlying theme throughout history. The book leans conservative, with the authors injecting their political opinions throughout, so if you're looking for a book from that perspective, this one's a great choice. In our analysis of 39 expert reviews, the Scheweikart & Allen Scheweikart & Allen A Patriot’s History Of The United States placed 5th when we looked at the top 6 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note August 19, 2020:
Checkout The Best American History Book for a detailed review of all the top american history books.

Expert Summarized Score
8.4
5 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.0
289 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
A fantastic way to get "true" American history. For such a thick volume, it reads incredibly well, even humorous in some parts. Refreshing after years in the institution of the university system.
- Good Reads
The authors focus on American involvement in both World Wars and how American virtues, particularly free-market capitalism, helped to win them. An overarching theme is the idea of American exceptionalism, that the United States is a “shining city upon a hill” above all others.
- Kirkus Reviews
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.
- A Patriot's History of the United States
Here’s a text I can heartily recommend: "A Patriot’s History of the United States: From Columbus’s Great Discovery to the War on Terror," by Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen. It’s fresh, lively and bound to fill a void in many classrooms.
- Mackinac Center for Public Policy
What experts didn't like
Overall, a very biased book that pretends not to be; it was written as a sulk toward Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States, and it shows; while Zinn is open about his biases and actually reasonably objective, this book is not a history, but a collection of opinion pieces that glorifies the god that failed (democracy) and always abominates liberty in favor of it and jingoist nationalism.
- Good Reads
Steeped in conservative dogma. The authors label progressivism as “one of the most destructive forces since slavery” and Woodrow Wilson as a “self-appointed messiah,” and the phrase “economic justice” appears only in ironic quotation marks. A predictable right-wing slant on American history.
- Kirkus Reviews
A Patriot’s History is biased in its own way, of course, for it assumes that “if the story of America’s past is told fairly, the result cannot be anything but a deepened patriotism, a sense of awe at the obstacles overcome, the passions invested, the blood and tears spilled, and the nation that was built.”
- A Patriot's History of the United States
For a moment, I thought it was Zinn’s People’s History, because the authors of Patriot’s History borrow so heavily from his cover and book design. We know that Patriot’s History is the usual drivel, in no small part because of its paucity of meaningful footnotes. Not so shockingly, the authors seek to “correct” liberal historians, not recognizing that historians come in many ideological shapes and sizes.
- UrbanHumanist

From The Manufacturer

Here is the revised and updated 10th anniversary edition of the number-one New York Times best seller. Over the past decade, A Patriot's History of the United States has become the definitive conservative history of our country, correcting the biases of historians and other intellectuals who downplay the greatness of America's patriots. Professors Schweikart and Allen have now revised, updated, and expanded their book, which covers America's long history with an appreciation for the values that made this nation uniquely successful.

An Overview On American History Books

In school, you were handed a history textbook and told to read it. It likely had a condensed history of America, covering wars, important political figures and big events.

For those interested in history, though, the thirst for information continues long after graduation. Even children may find school textbooks inadequate if they’re really interested in learning history. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of history books, especially if you want to study a particular event or era in depth.

But what if you just want a full telling of the history of America? There are books for that, as well. The key is to find one that covers the timeframe you’re interested in studying. Some start with Columbus’s arrival, while others include the history of Native Americans before settlers arrived.

Most American history books will focus on a certain theme. This is what makes each one unique. So before you start looking for a good book, think about what interests you most. Do you want to learn more about the political climate of America throughout history, or do wars and foreign relations interest you more? Are you interested in exploring a particular theme, or would you prefer to simply read the events in chronological order, pulled together with an interesting narrative?

For younger readers, images can be a great way to break up pages of text. Many children’s history books will use compelling photos, charts, maps and other imagery to both illustrate points and keep things interesting. Also look for text that’s engaging, rather than the more serious approach usually seen in textbooks. When children see that learning history can be fun, they’re more likely to continue to want to research as they grow into adults.

DWYM Fun Fact

It may seem hard to believe, but until the mid-1990s, the only way to look up a historical fact was through books, unless you could actually track down someone who could give you a firsthand account. That meant if a student was working on a paper for class, that student often had to log some after-school library hours to research.

There was one big exception to that. In many homes throughout the 1900s, there was a bookshelf stocked with multiple books called encyclopedias. These books were sold by salespeople who would knock on your door and give a sales pitch. Encyclopedia sales remained strong because almost as soon as a family bought a set, the information was outdated. When a child was working on a report or a family member wanted to look up something, that handy set of encyclopedias was available with the information they needed. As with Wikipedia today, though, the encyclopedia wasn’t meant as a be-all-end-all source. It simply served as a great way to get an overview on a topic you were studying.

The American History Book Buying Guide

  • The structure of a history book is one of the most important aspects. If possible, take a quick look at the table of contents and pay close attention to whether the story is told chronologically or separated by themes. There’s nothing wrong with either approach, but many readers find they prefer one over the other.
  • Even the best-written nonfiction book is useless if it isn’t based in fact. Look for books from authors with impressive backgrounds. A renowned historian or professor of history is better than an author with no connection to the field whatsoever. If you can, check how the author conducted research and whether information came from valid sources.
  • The publication date on the book comes into play, as well. A history of America that was published 20 years ago won’t just leave out a couple of decades of events. It may be missing the perspective that those two extra decades have brought. Some history books are updated to compensate for this lapse, but make sure the updates make the book as relevant as one published recently.
  • Regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum, you may want an unbiased telling of historical events. There are plenty of American history books that sway conservative or liberal, though, if that’s what you prefer. You can often identify them by the themes they promote in the blurb. However, the review section will often include at least a couple of readers who found the book too political on one side or the other, so browsing those can help.
  • At one time, history books painted a rosy picture of historical events. But toward the end of the 20th century, documentarians and authors began digging into the reality of events that have happened. You can still find positive, upbeat takes on American history, but you’ll probably notice those are rarer than books that are more upfront and honest.