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Posted March 13, 2010
Stained-glass Picture of American Life
I was an adult during the twenty years of which Mr. Bennett wrote, but my memories of the events he so admirably pieced together were unformed. Everyday activities took precedent over the events of our national life. That history was the backdrop to those personal experiences. However, my memories of American history beginning in 1988 resembled jumbled pieces of broken glass thrown into a kaleidoscope pattern. What I appreciate most about *"A Century Turns" is that those events are skillfully constructed into a stained-glass window of national life under William Bennett's able hand. Because he was involved in much of the political activity during those twenty years, he adds a personal touch to the account. Much as the thin strips of lead hold a stained-glass window together, his touches of memoir become the slivers of light that give definition and cohesion to the picture he creates. My 90-year-old Mother is reading "A Century Turns" now. Other family members are eagerly waiting their turns to borrow it.
*Thomas Nelson provided a free copy of this book.
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Posted March 9, 2010
Good follow-on two previous 2 volumes!
This is a good follow-on to the previous two historical references by William J. Bennett, "America: The Last Best Hope, volumes 1 and 2." I only say 'good' because I feel we are still too close to the things outlined in this book, historically speaking. However, the topics are quite relevant and still fresh in my personal memory. It was a great refresher to fill in the fuzzy areas. Regardless of what Michael states as a disclaimer in the book (based on his notes and recollections), I find them to be quite accurate and very enlightening. He has perspective I did not consider, both at the time of occurrence and now.
I would recommend this book to anyone who would like a fair look at the happenings of the 1980's, 1990's, and 2000's (up to 2008). I particularly enjoyed the recitation of George H.W. Bush's and Bill Clinton's presidencies. The 2000's is a little weak, again because we are just too close to that period historically.
Overall a wonderful book that is well prepared, and very easy to read. Just like his previous two volumes, this one reads more like a story (and an amazing one at that!) and is somewhat hard to put down. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in a relatively unbiased review of these eras.
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Posted March 7, 2010
Great History Insight
In A Century Turns New Hopes, New Fears William Bennett covers the last 20 years in America's History. The book opens with George H.W Bush & his presidency, then moves forward from there. William Bennett gives you a first hand look at many things - good & bad - in the last 20 years.
Since I am only in my late twenties, this book was amazing to me. I was shocked by many things that Bennett talks about. But I also liked how he included a lot of his own first hand experiences. I think that by doing that you get a better idea of the time frame as well as the history itself. This book when more in depth I thought then my history classes in high school. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who is a histiry buff, or anyone is wants to get a different look at the last 20 years.
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Posted August 23, 2011
A Book for the U.S. History Buff.
I personally found this book pretty difficult to get into. I have never been a huge fan of United States history but I thought I would give this book a shot. If you are an American history buff, this would probably be a good read for you. It is a pretty thorough and mostly unbiased review of the most recent history here in the U.S. dating from 1988 to 2008. I will admit, some is a bit of a conservative view but it is mostly unbiased. What is different about this book is that the author uses his own personal experiences and emotions during these events to educate you on these recent histories. He speaks of how our country has been shaped and how the political climate changed in the years which led up to the United States electing it's first African American President, President Barrack Obama. Also greatly discussed were the changes in the culture that also helped shape the country and the politics, so much changed within those twenty years. It is well written, easy to read and full of great information. But I would not recommend this for someone who isn't truly interested in United States history or politics.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 21, 2011
A very good and insightful read
I would highly recommend for anyone interested in a quick and very concise and informative overview of the present and recent history of the United States. A very fair and mostly unbiased assessement. As always, with events you lived through, it is hard to be unbaised - particularly with TV and the internet having shaped some or most of these events for good or ill. For anyone that has not read Bill Bennett, this is a good book to start with and an excellent conmpletion to his America series. Very Highly recommend.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 29, 2010
Not so great...unless...
A Century Turns by William J. BennettWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
"Author, historian, and educator William J. Bennett examines America's last two decades.
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 found this book extremely difficult to get into. Let me also say that I am not a big history fan. I enjoy reading and when I read the description of this book I mistakingly assumed that the entire book would be layed out in interesting facts not all the facts! If you were somebody who liked to read about history then you would enjoy this book, otherwise there isn't enough of the 'interesting tid bits' to keep you interested if that is the only reason you are reading it.
Thomas Nelson Publishers gave this book to me in exchange for an honest review through the program - booksneeze!
Posted October 21, 2010
Well written and very informative
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
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.
Posted August 31, 2010
A Century Turns: New Fears, New Hopes--America 1988 to 2008
Frankly speaking, I am not an American. Therefore, this review was based on my personal perspective and logical thinking about the content of this book. My motivation to read this book is to increase my understanding about the American history.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Instead of summarizing the history, the author shared his enriched and valuable experiences about the players in the America. Besides, the author recorded his feeling and thought in footnotes so the readers will have better understanding about the situations. I found that this book is not only readable, but also full of valuable information. Furthermore, few memorable photos in the book are definitely helpful for me to recall back the events which occurred in my life.
Personally, I believe that this book is very helpful, as a record or reminder, for those who are eager to have a better review about the American politics, the presidents, the presidential elections, and the "war against terrorism" in the past two decades. To sum up, I give it five out of five stars for A Century Turns.
Disclosure of Material Connection:
I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://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 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Posted August 18, 2010
I am a Product of A Century Turns
Both my husband and I read A Century Turns: New Hopes, New Fears by William J. Bennet. A historical novel is written about the end of the 20th and beginning of the 21st Century from a Current Events and Political perspective. It is combines the gossip and trends from the entertainment world and gives account of our country's political history. It's William J. Bennett's insight on the time line of 1988 and 2008.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
1988 was the year I was married, the events mentioned are those that I developed my opinions from and have expanded upon over the course of a decade. I voted for the first time in a Presidential Election, I witnessed the end of Communism. I can tell you where I was when I heard about Kuwait and my life was forever altered after the bombing of the World Trade Center. In this span I've seen history made as a nation elected a father and a son into the White House (George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush). I watched the news report the execution of Saddam Hussein. This has been my decade and William J. Bennett does an excellent job of adding his wit to these world changing events.
Too often I am scouring the blogosphere for celebrity gossip--mostly Jon Bon Jovi. It's my way of escaping reality. I realized as I read these pages of A Century Turns that I tend to stick my head in the sand when the event is something I have no control over. It also made me open my eyes to see how my everyday life and the technology I use is impacted by the events that I close my eyes to and want to end.
My husband really loved how the book was written in a novel form, but gave insight into events that are relevant to our adult life. He especially enjoyed the story about George H.W. Bush coming out of his shell--I won't spoil it for those wanting to read more.
A Century Turns is a unique book giving insight into the past 20 years and as only Wiliam J. Bennett could do, pulls it off as a novel with witty comments, brilliant footnotes and a read that you'll want to share. This book will leave you pondering the events that have molded our society and have you paying attention to those that are in the progress of shaping the next decade!
Posted August 17, 2010
A Century Turns
I thought this book was going to intrigue me yet it failed to do so. Not because of the book, but because of my interest in History! It was well written but if you are not a huge history buff then it is difficult to keep turning the pages. It does not fail to educate on the last twenty years though! I will be giving this to my Father in Law whom loves this kind of stuff!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 9, 2010
A Century Turns
I've just read "A Century Turns" By William J. Bennett and was not disappointed! I have always been a HUGE fan of history, and enjoyed reading about our country's past from 1988 - 2008. Including the campaign of George H. Bush and the election of Barack Obama, and many events in-between!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
The way this book was written was interesting, a relief from hearing politics on T.V. nowadays. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves history, or as a great gift to anyone who does! This book does not disappoint!
Posted July 3, 2010
A Century Turns
William Bennett is an exceptionally intelligent man and what I expected form his latest book was a thoughtful look at the two decades from 1988 until 2008. What I found was less than that.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
He writes well and illustrates his history with anecdotes, but the work was more justification than illumination. A member of both the Reagan and Bush administrations (Secretary of Education & head of the National Endowment of the Humanities under Reagan & Bush's Drug Czar - Bush 1), Bennett was in the unique position to have shaped policy and action on several fronts.
In his first address to Congress, President Bush said he and Bennett would "be shoulder to shoulder in the exective branch leading the charge." Looking back at their charge from the safety of the future, it has a greater resemblance to Pickett's charge at Gettysburg, which signaled the distruction of the Confederacy, than anything else.
Currently, the United States, which has 5% of the world's population, consumes TWO-THIRDS of the world's production of illegal drugs. Drug gangs are fighting and killing each other - and innocent bystanders - all along the border between Mexico and the U.S. And the Mexican government has little hope of stopping it.
After all, what would you do if your next door neighbor was the biggest drug user in the world? How would you stop the never-ending flow of dealers coming and going at all hours of the day and night? You would be constantly on the phone with the police, if you weren't hiding in fear.
It's not Bush's fault, or Bennett's, or the fault of any of the presidents and officials that followed them. Law and policy only go so far. Sure, it's illegal to smoke pot or snort cocaine or take oxycodone. It's illegal to do a great many things and most of us do something illegal each and every day.
It may be only a rolling stop at that stop sign near our house where there's not much traffic and we can see NOBODY is coming (though we don't see the cop). Or doing 80-ish to get around that guy on the interstate doing 67 in a 70 zone. (And they're not even in the far right lane.)
But what we have seen from all those policies is not some remediation or lessening of drug use - it's worse now than it was. What we don't see in Bennett's book is an understanding or analysis of what worked, whether that was treatment or enforcement, or what didn't work. Nor do we see recommendations for the future.
What we do see in this account is a general glossing over negatives, dismissing of opponents, and an all too typical political positioning. I can't get the time back I spent reading this.
Posted June 5, 2010
A Century Turns by William Bennett
Author, historian, and educator William J. Bennett examines America's last two decades.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Twenty years ago a young man named Barack Obama was elected the first black president of the Harvard Law Review. 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. If you asked someone to "email me," you would have received a blank stare, and "Amazon" was a forest in South America.
As I read this history of the past twenty years, I was reminded of events that had happened along the way, which brought back distinct and emotional memories. Events such as the crumbling of the Berlin Wall, Operation Desert Storm, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Columbine High School massacre and September 11th to name a few. As I read, I would remember where I was and what I was doing when social and or political events significantly impacted me. A Century Turns is a history book and while at a couple points did seem to read as a textbook, there are enough anecdotal stories in which one could see an inside glimpse of more the Washington political scene.
This book was easy to read and follow as I have lived through the events. It was interesting because William Bennett was in the middle of a lot of the events that he is describing.
This is a recommended read for all to remember where we came from to see where we are going because it seems to be that every twenty years or so, history repeats itself. Are we learning from our past mistakes?
Disclosure of Material Connection: 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."
Posted May 11, 2010
A Century Turns by William Bennet
I found this to be an extremely interesting and informative book. The author covers the history of the US from 1988-2008 as well as touching on the political climate which led to the election of Barrack Obama. The author pulls no punches in his honesty about US elections and their results in the last 22 years. He also goes into other recent historical events such as the LA riots, the trial of OJ Simpson, the tragedy in Waco, the bombing of the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City, the first Word Trade Center bombing and of course the terrorist attacks of Sept 11 2001 and the result conflicts in Iraq & Afghanistan.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Being a Canadian and not familiar with a good portion of the American political system, I found this book to be a very good if somewhat slow read (at least for me). If it isn't used as a text book in US History classes, it should be. Highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the events that led up to today.
Many thanks to Thomas Nelson for supplying the complimentary copy of this book for review.
Posted May 8, 2010
A Century Turns: New Hopes, New Fears by William J. Bennett
It seems like only yesterday, but it was over twenty years ago since 1988. In 1988 I was teaching in a small Christian school. I was casting my first vote as a real tax paying adult. The Berlin Wall divided the world into East and West and we were wondering what life would be like without Ronald Reagan in office. The years from the fall of the Berlin Wall and the fall of the Twin Towers was less than fifteen years, but the world has changed dramatically.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
William Bennett is one of the few people who have remained in the thick of the political fray between the years 1988 and 2008. In "A Century Turns" Bennett gives an articulate chronicle of these volatile years.
Unlike many histories of events the events of these decades, Bennett takes in a panoramic view of the years from the end of the Reagan administration to the beginning of the Obama administration. Bennett masterfully puts into an understandable order the events that we watched unfold on our television screens. He weaves together in an understandable ways the developments within American culture with their affects on the political climate.
This is a worthwhile read for those of us who lived the history, but it is even more important as a book to share with our children and grandchildren. The greatest thing I can say about the book is that it helped me to remember why I identify myself as a Christian and a cultural conservative. This book will remain will continue to be on my bookshelf for quite some time. It should be on your shelf too.
Posted April 29, 2010
A century turns
I agreed to review this book cause it was the only book available at Booksneeze at the moment and I needed something to read, I was looking for fiction, but had to do with this one .. and frankly I'm actually glad that I read this book. Here is a very short review.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
You want to brush up your American history, pick up this book. This book is not just American history, it talks about it's future too. Subjects such as politics, pop culture, economics, technology, war and religion have also been touched.
He has curiously remained neutral throughout the book, even at place where I thought he would not be. J. Bennett is analysing American history in this book and this book is not objective as the first two volumes. His personal comments are in footnotes and they are very interesting - don't miss them.
This book is also a reminder of how much has changed in the past 20 years -
Twenty years ago in our political and popular culture, there was no Fox News Channel; there was no Tonight Show with Jay Leno, no American Idol, no Jonas Brothers, no Taylor Swift, no Hannah Montana.
The tone of the book is very interesting -
Twenty years is a long time. Twenty years ago, if you had asked someone to "e-mail me" or said, "check out my website (or blog)," or began a phrase with "www" or asked if an article was "available online" or tried to tell someone what was on your "iPod playlist," you would have received a blank stare. "Amazon" was known simply as a forest in South America, "blackberry" was a fruit, and "Google" meant nothing.
This short review is already longer than I meant it to be. American students, and people interested in American history will benefit most from this book.
Posted April 26, 2010
A Century Turns, by William J. Bennett
In the years from 1988 to 2008, the United States - while never a static country - went through some of its most dramatic and fascinating changes. William J. Bennett's "A Century Turns: New Hopes, New Fears" describes this, from race riots to natural disaster to the election of America's first black president. I requested this book from Thomas Nelson and found it an informative read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
The author traces American political and social developments, beginning with the administration of the first President Bush. I don't know much about politics, so I found it interesting to learn how candidates' expression of emotion (or the lack thereof) influences voters. The book also explains why a candidate might pick a certain running mate.
For instance, Bill Clinton chose Al Gore even though Gore was of the same age and from a neighboring state, so it wasn't a "balanced ticket" in that regard. However, as the book describes...
"Al and Tipper Gore's marriage was famously free of any hint of scandal or dalliance. In selecting Al Gore, Clinton seemed to be saying to voters, "I know my own marriage has not been perfect, but I respect your traditional values and I will uphold them." . From the moment in June when Clinton named Al Gore, he was never behind in the public opinion polls."
This may be well-known to someone who's familiar with politics, but I appreciated it being spelled out like this. :)
Events abroad are covered as well, in terms of how they affected the United States. The fall of the Berlin Wall, the event that inspired Black Hawk Down, the eventual fate of Elian Gonzalez. it's all touched on, proceeding through George W. Bush's presidency and ending as the McCain and Obama campaigns kick into gear. A strong sense of salute-the-flag runs through this book, so it would make a good read (or good gift) for someone who shares a similar patriotism.
On the other hand, while most discussions of reproductive rights issues in this book seem to avoid bias, the author refers to "partial-birth abortion", which isn't a medical term. This procedure is also described in an emotive way without an explanation of why it may be found necessary.
Then again, the author also says that he told a young Bill Gates that his life would be so much better if he would stay in school (page 133).
The book concludes by contrasting two Americas - one led by "an evangelical Christian, who deployed military force to destroy terrorists" and one which seems to be Obama's America, a place more ready for multiculturalism and acceptance. It made me think of the duality in the book's subtitle - "New Hopes, New Fears". Perhaps one America has the fears, and the other the hopes.
Posted April 26, 2010
A good chronicle of events-an average incisive history lesson
This book reads more like a novel than a piece of historical work. It captures the turn of the century and the political intricacies during the period of 1988 to 2008. During this period there were wars, changes in US presidency and great turmoil in the world. Bennet does a competent job of capturing them.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
The book would have beeb much better had the author tried to go behind the reasons of historical events rather than just being a chronicler of it. So, in effect the books reads more like a collection of newspaper articles pieced together in a very nice fashion.
Posted April 24, 2010
Posted April 20, 2010
A Century Turns by William J Bennett
"A Century Turns" is a book about the historical events over the last 20 years. This book, by William J Bennett, talks about the changes in politics, economics, war, and other facets that transformed America. If you enjoy a good history book, this book is for you. Everything is discussed-from the 1988 election to the 2008 Presidential Race.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I was hooked on this book from the very beginning. Bennett's writing style makes for an easy read, but his subjects keep you interested. He is very knowledgeable about the multifaceted events of what is going on. Reading about the true events that have occurred in the last 20 years brought back many emotions. The terrorist bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the OJ Simpson car chase are just a few events discussed. If you want to read more about Bill Clinton, George W Bush Sr. and Jr., and President Barack Obama this is the book to read!