“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” (A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens)
Isn’t literature grand? Dickens’ novel was set during the French Revolution, and it details the sanity and insanity of that perilous time in history. In a way, France never recovered. The suppression of religion, the mob actions, the takeover by murderous revolutionaries was starkly different than the American Revolution, where farmers and fishermen and tinkers desired mostly to have a say in how they were ruled and taxed.
And 2020 is also the best and worst of times:
“Taxation without representation.” Remember that? American Colonists had NO ACTUAL REPRESENTATION in the English Parliament. Sometimes it feels like our representatives today do not represent us. They are quickly absorbed into catering to rich special interests. Big Business and foreign nations often have more pull with our Congress than We the People.
What’s a citizen to do?
“Knowledge is power.”
The Scriptures tell us, “My people perish for lack of knowledge,” (Hosea 4:6). The Douay-Rheims version says, “My people have been silent, because they had no knowledge…”
Are we going to remain silent? No! We must find our voice again. Great literature is a wonderful way to help. Knowing how our great nation came about and those who founded it is important to a civics education. We’ve been made to feel bad about the Founding Fathers. They’ve been torn apart and shredded in classrooms from sea to shining sea. It’s all by design, of course, just like the face burkas are meant to humiliate us.
Some of us aren’t thrilled with the idea of a “curriculum”, but many of us do enjoy learning through literature. And quite frankly, any parent or grandparent can sneak in a TON of civic spirit and learning by reading stories and sharing books with their family. We must be intentional. We must plan and execute. Our children’s freedom depends upon it.
That Haaavaaad professor who wants to outlaw homeschooling? Yeah, she knows that the long game is in favor of parents and grandparents who take a vital interest in the education of their children. And guess what? Your kids/grandkids can go to public school and STILL BE HOMESCHOOLED. You just gotta take the time and energy to teach them the truth. It is imperative.
We have a daunting task. The public schools and even a good number of private schools are run by progressives. They have rewritten our history. They have turned our heroes into backward racists and imperialists. They have twisted history into a pretzel and stolen our patrimony from us. And look what they are doing to us RIGHT THIS MINUTE:
New York Times Reporter wins The Pulitzer Prize for Tabloid History (you will learn a bit about the 1619 Project, which is a real time example of progressives rewriting our history). This is Hillsdale College’s answer: Free History Class to Counter the 1619 Project’s lies. And while you’re there, you will find a free course called Constitution 101!
Here are a few wonderful resources to read yourself, and to share with family and friends. I’m also going to share some links of different websites that can help you source excellent literature.
- For primary grades, any book by Ingri and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire, but of particular interest to us would be:
Each of these books are wonderful for parents or grandparents to read. I still have my copy of Abraham Lincoln.
The illustrations are beautiful and the texts give children a good introduction to the lives of those who founded, shaped, and directed our nation. More excellent resources:
- Worst of Friends: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and the True Story of an American Feud by Suzanne Tripp Jurmain and Larry Day
- America’s Paul Revere by Esther Forbes
- Liberty or Death by Betsy Maestro
- Shh! We’re Writing the Constitution by Jean Fritz
- Martha Washington: America’s First Lady by Jean Wagoner
- Abigail Adams: Girl of Colonial Days by Jean Wagoner
- For grades 5-8, George Washington’s World by Genevieve Foster
- For high school and above, Miracle At Philadelphia: The Story of the Constitutional Convention May – September 1787 by Catherine Drinker Bowen
- His Excellency, George Washington, by Joseph Ellis
- Washington’s Crossing by David Hackett Fischer (exciting military history)
This is just a smattering of what is out there. I’m including some resource links below. You will be able to search for good literature and not have to worry too much about the negative historical rewriting that infects so much of our history nowadays.
- Beautiful Feet Books (a wonderful company that has done a lot of the sourcing of good historical literature for you. You can find a plethora of good history books here).
- Christian Book.com. Click on the link and it will take you straight to their history resources.
- Story of the World Series by Susan Wise Bauer (volumes 3 and 4 include America’s founding and subsequent history. Audiobooks, too).
I hope this spurs you on to finding your own wonderful history books to read and share.
Next time I’ll be looking at visual resources for learning Civics and our great nation’s history.
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