A Patriot's History of the United States

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A Patriot's History of the United States
A Patriot's History of the United States.jpg
First edition
AuthorMichael Allen, Larry Schweikart
CountryUnited States
SubjectU.S. History
PublisherSentinel HC
Publication date
December 29, 2004 (Hardcover), February 27, 2007 (Paperback)
Media typePrint (Hardcover, Paperback)
973 22
LC ClassE178.1 .S3795 2004

A Patriot's History of the United States: From Columbus's Great Discovery to the War on Terror is a 2004 book on American history by Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen. Written from a conservative standpoint, it is a counterpoint to Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States and asserts that the United States is an "overwhelmingly positive" force for good in the world. Schweikart said that he wrote it with Allen because he could not find an American history textbook without "leftist bias".[1][2]


Larry Schweikart recounted to Steven K. Bannon that the book had respectable sales for several years after publication, but rocketed up the best seller charts after being recommended by talk-show host Glenn Beck, hitting #1 on the New York Times and Amazon.com bestseller lists.[3]

In a review in the conservative magazine National Review, Matthew Spalding of the Heritage Foundation wrote that "A Patriot's History rejects the economic determinism of Beard and Zinn, and others who 'wrongly assume that people were (and are) incapable of acting outside of self-interest.'" Spalding continued:

"Anything that has to do with patriotism has long been controversial in academic circles. The idea that the teaching of American history might actually foster patriotism is to some deeply problematic. The rejected assumption, which is the foundation of A Patriot's History, is that there are principles and purposes reflected in American history that make this imperfect country worthy of our affection, and that honest history should explain those principles and illustrate those purposes as the centerpiece of our nation's story."[4]

Reviewing the book in the journal The History Teacher, David Hoogland Noon was critical of it. According to Noon, the book's peculiar priorities – it "devotes a single paragraph to the Japanese internment while squandering an entire page with denunciations of liberal historians and their treatments of the subject" – as well as the omission of landmark works from its sources, suggest "ignorance of the basic parameters of actual historical scholarship". Moreover, according to Noon, "the authors make claims that are not even remotely endorsed by the footnoted sources". "Written for an audience of the previously converted," Noon concluded, "this book is hardly worth anyone else's time."[5]

Writing in the Claremont Review of Books, David J. Bobb praised the book as a fine teaching tool, stating that every page of the book is "full of statements that would make Zinn snarl" and that it "gives students an example of honest historical inquiry.[6]

Criticizing the book from a conservative perspective, Paul Gottfried in The American Conservative characterized A Patriot's History as an example of neoconservative historiography:

"Schweikart, a regular on Fox News, takes to task leftist historians who disparage America's past or glorify the expansion of public administration... Yet many of the views that this patriotic historian considers far leftist are actually those of the Old Right... [The] broad area of agreement about heroes and villains—and about how we reached the glorious present by overcoming the prejudices of the past—unites the liberal and patriotic versions of American history. This is the new consensus history, and it leaves little room for the Old Right's take on the past to get a fair hearing."[7]

In his review of the book in The Wall Street Journal, Brendan Miniter called a Patriot's History a "fluent account of America from the discovery of the Continent up to the present day",[8] and wrote that the book serves to "remind us what a few good individuals can do in just a few short centuries."[9]

John Coleman reviewing the book in the Institute for Humane Studies, praised it as "thorough and easy to read" and stated:

The packaging of the book would have benefited from editorial restraint in a few key areas, but overall, the work is a model of balance, and it stays true to the first principles outlined so clearly by the authors in the introduction'defending, one might say, 'truth, justice, and the American way.' In addition, for every fault in A Patriot's History, there are a thousand pleasant surprises and heartening reminders that underneath it all America remains a country of ideas, ideals, and optimism'and no amount of revisionism can take that legacy away.[10]


  1. ^ "Why It's Time for a Patriot's History of the United States". historynewsnetwork.org. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-10-08.
  2. ^ "Interview with Larry Schweikart: Patriotic History". historynewsnetwork.org. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-10-08.
  3. ^ "News : New York Times No. 1 Best Seller : University of Dayton, Ohio". www.udayton.edu. Archived from the original on 2010-05-27. Retrieved 2010-06-27.
  4. ^ Spalding, Matthew, Review of 'A Patriot's History of the United States: From Columbus's Great Discovery to the War on Terror' by Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen, National Review, March 28, 2005, pp. 48-49.
  5. ^ Noon, David Hoogland (May 2007). "Review: A Patriot's History of the United States". The History Teacher. 40 (3). Archived from the original on 3 February 2010. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  6. ^ Bobb, David J. (2005). "The Future of Patriotism: Howard Zinn and American history". Claremont Review of Books.
  7. ^ Gottfried, Paul, "Victor's History," The American Conservative, March 23, 2009, pp. 25-26.
  8. ^ Miniter, Brendan, Review of A Patriot's History of the United States by Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen and The American Revelation by Neil Baldwin, May 19, 2005, page D8.
  9. ^ Miniter, Brendan (19 May 2005). "A Question of Character - WSJ". Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 2020-10-27. Retrieved 2020-11-26.
  10. ^ Coleman, John (2010). "Book Review: A Patriot's History of the United States". Institute for Humane Studies. Retrieved 2022-04-12.

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