Friday, February 19, 2010

Review: A Century Turns: New Hopes, New Fears

A Century Turns: New Hopes, New Fears
William J. Bennett
Thomas Nelson

I don’t know where to begin with this book review. To be fair I have not read any of Dr. Bennett’s other books, so I don’t know if this one is typical of his work or not. His style here is so low key that I just cruised through the last twenty years or so without having any emotions evoked at all. I lived those years and remember plenty of emotion and angst. That’s not to say the text is dry or boring, but its matter of fact-ness flattened the whole era. Sort of like looking at old newspaper headlines. Not sure what he hoped to accomplish with this endeavor.

The book did have an extra I haven’t seen in quite a while though. Color plates. How long has that been? Maybe I’ve been conditioned by all the visual media available now, but they did a better job of recreating the history than the text. Maybe a picture really is worth a thousand words.

Overall, I’d recommend this book for the people that were too young to remember the times themselves. The author covered the highs and lows of the political scene fairly in my opinion. No one was bashed or beatified and the complexity of the situations was described in enough detail get the point across without overwhelming the reader. Lots of footnotes allow those that may want to pursue a topic or fact check his work to do so.

This book has been reviewed for BookSneeze.

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