Ordinarily I separate my book review from my comments on the design of the book cover, but this is one of those books that is full of design elements within and without. The parchment paper look of the cover design is carried throughout every page of the interior. Overall, the beautiful photography (provided by Newt’s wife, Callista) and the well designed interior make this a great book to leave out for friends and family to pick up and read in bits – what I would call a ‘coffee table’ book. Because this book largely focuses on the history of America, the history of the Washington DC monuments, and the numerous wars and presidents that inspired them, I also think that it is appropriate that this book’s design has an aged appearance. The book’s designer has captured the spirit behind Newt & his wife Callista’s efforts very well.
In his introduction, Newt attests that this book is intended as a rebuttal to those seeking to write God out of our American history, and he successfully provides–during this vivid photographic walking tour– not only the history of the monuments and buildings of Washington, but also details of the writings and activities of our past presidents, referring to their religious beliefs and their related feelings on our rights as American citizens in a nation predominantly believing in a creator God.
I found the photography to be beautiful, the facts about the monuments to be interesting, and the overall discussion of our presidential past to be awe inspiring. Reading it inspired a feeling of pride in my country, and in the great leaders that we have been blessed to have in our nation’s short history. It is obvious that former Speaker Gingrich is concerned this religious heritage will be lost. If a noisy minority would have their way – it would not only be disallowed in schools, but in other ways as well. He fears what will happen if we do not fully understand from what mindset our nation was started.
“It is important to understand what makes America so unique and why generations upon generations of diverse peoples immigrated to this great land for freedom and opportunity. If Americans do not appreciate America, and that for which it stands, then how can Americans be ready and willing to defend her? As Jefferson noted, Americans need to know where this country came from in order to know where it should go.”
Reading this book encourages you to be proud of your American heritage, and your right to practice your religion freely. Not to encourage you to be ‘in-your-face’ about it necessarily, but to defend your right to not have to hide it under a bushel basket for fear of persecution either. That’s why people fled TO this country.
Reading it also made me realize that I REALLY need to brush the dust off of my history books!
A beautiful and inspiring book, filled with little-known facts about the monuments, buildings and presidents that make it interesting to read.
* This book was provided by Thomas Nelson publishers for review via the BookSneeze program.