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A Century Turns: New Fears, New Hopes--America 1988 to 2008

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  • Posted March 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    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.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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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    This is a good follow-on to the previous two historical references by William J. Bennett, "America: The Last Best Hope, volumes 1 and 2."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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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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.

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  • Posted October 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    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.



    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.

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  • 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.

    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!

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  • 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!

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  • Posted May 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    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.

    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.

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  • 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.

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2010

    A Century Turns

    An excellent book... recommend it for anyone interested in general information of history concerning the USA.

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  • Posted April 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    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.
    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!

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  • Posted April 9, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Fair and Unbiased History Lesson

    A Century Turns: New Hopes, New Fears by William J. Bennett chronicles the past twenty years of America and the changes it has undergone. While twenty years may not seem like a lot in the span of how long America has been a country, it is enough to mold a young person who goes from being an awkward eleven-year-old to an educated thirty-one year old mother of three with one more on the way. As I read this unbiased history of the past twenty years, I was reminded of events that had happened along the way, which brought back distinct and poignant 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 have flashes of memories where I remembered 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 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."

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  • Posted April 7, 2010

    Great Retelling of Recent American History

    I'm a student of history. I am always eager to learn more about eras that I didn't live through. This was actually something new for me though. A Century Turns: New Fears, New Hopes - America 1988 to 2008 By William Bennett is about an era that I lived through. It's very recent history.

    That being said, this was one of the most enlightening books I've ever read about the political process. William Bennett approaches his retelling of events from an obvious conservative viewpoint, but it's not one that takes away from the accuracy of the events.

    From Carter to Obama, Bennett recalls events in the past presidential administrations that set the tone for their terms, but also for the nation, and ultimately the world.

    I never once felt like this was a partisan or extremely biased opinion driven retelling of history, though, I'd challenge you to read for yourself and determine your own opinions.

    Each chapter is approachable and easy to read. I wish there had been more pictures, but the ones included captured the essence of the events in the book well.

    I'd especially recommend this book for young people who were born in the late 80s that don't have an understanding of the Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and W. Bush years.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <<a href="http://booksneeze.com/">http://BookSneeze.com</a>> 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 <<a href="http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html">http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html</a>> : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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  • Posted April 7, 2010

    'A Century Turns' by William J. Bennett.

    'A Century Turns' is the last twenty years of United States history in just under three hundred pages. The author, William J. Bennett, listed as one of 'America's most important, influential and respected voices on cultural, political, and educational issues'. Easy then!

    This book certainly is an easy read, and that in some way belies the complexity of the events covered in this book. Bennett is a skilled historian and a very good communicator. At no point are you left floundering for facts or understanding.

    Any history book covering the very recent years can struggle in it's viewpoint against the memories and prejudices of the reader. Bennett does very well to maintain a neutral stance in the main body of the text, with more direct personal comments being reserved for the footnotes, which occur on most pages. I quickly found myself looking forward to reading those footnotes, wanting a little more colour and tone to the narrative.

    Bennett doesn't attempt to make this book the definitive narrative on the last twenty years of American history, but he does identify the key moments that have shaped the political responses of the presidency and government with a sterling cast of who's who in US politics. It is also easy to forget just how much has changed in the last two decades and the book also serves as a timely reminder of that.

    As a UK resident this book was a great way of learning more about the political, economic, and social motivations of the United States in recent times and I'm sure that the book's US audience will gain just as much from it.


    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."

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  • Posted April 4, 2010

    A century turns. It's a brave new world.

    A Century Turns -- New Hopes and New Fears by William Bennett is a book about my life. Let me rephrase that. It's a book about everything that has been happening in the world since the mid 80's. You know, it's the history that I lived through but never really knew anything about. Bennett, albeit wordy, details not only the political climate of the past two decades, but he also highlights the important social issues/pop culture, how our domestic and global policy has changed, and he also gives an up close and personal dissertation on the political candidates that we have come to know and love/hate. The book was challenging to me and made me consider a lot of preconceived notions that I have held for a while. It was extremely informative and the information was easily understood. A very worthwhile read.

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  • Posted April 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Review of the book: A Century Turns

    A Century Turns takes us back to the course of history of The Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush presidency in America. A great book for every level of reader giving them a precise amount of events and history that has marked our nation through the past 20 years. Not one note of history has been left out to give an account of what is going on in America today.


    This book is especially useful source for the generations to come, and those who are currently making their way through our schools and universities.

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  • Posted March 24, 2010

    A Century Turns - William J Bennett

    Twenty years ago, the world was very different; the technology was no where near as advanced as it is today, and American history has been changed quite a bit. The book, A Century Turns by William J. Bennett discusses the historical events from the past 20 years, 1988-2008, and the good and bad about everything.

    Being Canadian, I never really knew much about American politics, and the subject didn't really interest me. I've procrastinated learning more about them, though, and seeing this book on Book Sneeze gave me the chance to end that.

    I received this book in a great hardcover copy, much more than I was expecting already. It did have it's dull moments, like I -was- expecting, but I got through them and it wasn't as bad as I thought it'd be! It was very informative with many facts and opinions from the writers point of view. There were two sections of eight pages (sixteen total) of coloured pictures showing certain events in the history, which was a great added touch to it.

    I would recommend this book to other people, those who are interested in American politics and would like a look at it from a different view.
    A great, informational read, I give it a 4 out of 5 stars.

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  • Posted March 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Good Biographical Account

    In his latest book, A Century Turns: New Hopes, New Fears, Bill Bennett has written a historical account of the past two decades. This is the third two-decade historical account he has written, following America: The Last Best Hope (Volume I): From the Age of Discovery to a World at War and America: The Last Best Hope (Volume II): From a World at War to the Triumph of Freedom. The book's historical timeline begins with the 1988 election of George H. W. Bush and culminates with the recent election of Barack Obama. Those readers in their late-thirties to early-forties will have their memories sparked as Bennett recalls the political events they were paying attention to. In many ways, reading this book is like scanning through 20 years worth of old newspapers. Readers will experience a wide range of emotions as they recall the events of which the author reminds them-evoking memories of rapidly fading names such as Rodney King, Scooter Libby, Ken Starr and Vince Foster. As usual, Bennett's writing is clear and engaging, if not always concise.

    By no means can this be considered a dispassionate historical account. The author is an inside-the-beltway Washington political insider. He has served in the Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations, and is a well-known conservative radio talk-show host and CNN contributor. Although his biases are clear, Bennett's writing is fair and beneficial. In the book, he avoids the shrill political rhetoric common on today's airwaves. Despite the fact that the book is well-written, enjoyable, seemingly accurate and beneficial to the reader, it falls short in its quest to be a history book. All good historical writings benefit greatly from the perspective that can only come with time and emotional distance. This book has the benefit of neither. Without that perspective, the best that can be accomplished is a well-written biographical account of events. That is what Bennett has done a very good job supplying.

    Thomas Nelson provided me with a complimentary copy of this book to review. In no way did that influence my opinion of the book or my review.

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  • Posted March 1, 2010

    A Century Turns By William J Bennett

    In electronics, there is a pattern, every year chips become twice more powerful, and their cost becomes half, or even less. This means you get more computing power for a lesser price. They say if this continues, at one point the processing power will become almost free.
    Now what that has to do with a book about American History?
    A lot, I would say. In this fantastic book, New York times best-selling author William J Bennett tells us why the last 20 years (1988 to 2008) is very important in history. Not only for America, but the globe as a whole. The kind of changes world has gone through in these twenty years, it seems as if we have not one, but two worlds in two sides of this (relatively) short period.
    The link with Electronics field is, every year there are more incidents, changes happening around us than all the years before this put together. We don't notice it, But its always happening. This well researched book gives glimpses of what America has gone through in these years and why these changes are worth noting. It can also become a mini guide for us to expect, or handle what is going to happen in next twenty years.
    After watching the differences brought out by William Bennett, I feel may be such drastic changes will happen in not 20, But next 2 years itself. Thats the pace in which we are going and this book is an eye opener to stay sensible in the middle of all these. I recommend this to all those who prefer reading history with an analysis tone.
    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."

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  • Posted February 23, 2010

    A Century Turns...

    I have never read any books by Mr. Bennett previously. I, however, loved this book and its look back at some very important milestones for our country and the world. It was very interesting reading it from a man who was living in it. I would recommend this to anyone, it was very educational and thought provoking.

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