Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My summer reading prep for studying American History

The kids and I will study Sonlight's Core 3+4 American History this year so in anticipation of that I've selected a few books for myself to help me become more familiar with our nation's history.   Just a little light summer reading :).

Currently I'm reading George Washington's Sacred Fire by Peter A. Lillback (of course I'm also reading RC Sproul's new commentary on John, The Edge of Evolution by Michael Behe, and doing the 90 Day Bible Challenge- so I'm going at a snail's pace.)  Sacred Fire is a massive tome dedicated to disproving the 20th century myth that George Washington was a Deist.  I'm only on page 111 and I'm already convinced.  Either George Washington was a reverant, orthodox Christian who truly endorsed the beliefs of the Anglican church including the doctrines of the Sovereignty and Providence of God (which hard Diests deny) and the doctrine of theTrinity (which all Deists deny) or he purposefully deceived those around him by pretending to be the above.  In other words, Washington's recent biographers can't have it both ways- claiming he was a Deist and an honest man of integrity.  Close examination of Washington's personal correspondence, speeches, and the testimony of those who knew him best reveal a humble, godly man who saw himself first and foremost as a Christian and secondly as a soldier and then public servant.

Other books on my reading list include Founding Brothers by Joseph J. Ellis, Washington's Spies by Alexander Rose, Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose (about Lewis and Clark), and Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin (about Lincoln and his cabinet).

Books I've read in the last year or two pertaining to some period of American History include:  Unknown Shore by Robert Ruby (more history of the exploration of the North American coastline), Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick, The Captured by Scott Zesch (about Indian abductions on the Texas frontier), The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan (about the Dust Bowl), The Forgotten Man by Amity Shlaes (about the Great Depression), and New Deal or Raw Deal by Burton Folsom, Jr.

I honestly don't think I learned anything about the history of our great country while I was in school.  I love that by using Sonlight my kids and I learn history through real books and not boring, politically correct textbooks.

What are you reading this summer?


  1. Your reading list is impressive. I do think that biographers prefer to disagree with each other. ;) Not sure why, as there is generally only one truth!

    Is there any chance that you use Goodreads or another website to track your reading and how you rate books?

  2. You will enjoy "Undaunted Courage" - I read it years ago in my pre-children book club. (It's making me crazy that I can't make that title italicized or underlined like it should be! I promise I know that quotation marks are not grammatically correct, but it's the best I can do.)

    As for what I am reading (or have read) this summer: "Born on a Blue Day" by Daniel Tammet, "The Duggars: 20 and Counting" (upon your recommendation!) by Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar, and "Three Cups of Tea" by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin. I also tried to read "Lusitania: an Epic Tragedy" by Diana Preston, but I know my limits and it didn't "catch" me in the first 100 pages, so I couldn't afford to invest any more time in it. Next up are some of our 5th grader's literature and history books for this year so I can stay ahead of him.

  3. Cassandra- I haven't heard of Goodreads. I'll have to look into it.

    Crissy- I've also had Undaunted Courage since my pre-kid days! I've been meaning to read it for 12 years! My mom read it last year and renewed my interest. Sounds like you're busy reading this summer, too!




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I'm an on-the-run mom to 6 kids who studied and taught exercise science in a previous life. I love all things running, nutrition, and health-related. I usually run at zero dark thirty in the morning and am often quite hungry before, during, and after my run, but I live a rich, full, blessed life with my children, family, and friends. My faith in God is my anchor, and looking to Him and His promises allows me to live fully even when life circumstances are difficult. While running gives me an appetite, my desire is to hunger and thirst for righteousness more than for physical food.