America’s custodian of the virtues, William J. Bennett, is as prolific as ever. The former secretary of education and drug czar will soon release another chapter of his magisterial history of the United States, the multi-volume series entitled America: The Last Best Hope. Used as a textbook by right-leaning schools and homeschooling families across the country, the third and forthcoming volume is subtitled “From the Collapse of Communism to the Rise of Radical Islam.” The promotional materials for the book remind us that America was a very different country in 1991–but one that doesn’t sound half bad:
Twenty years ago, John McCain was serving his second year in the Senate, and Colin Powell had just been promoted to chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. There was no Fox News Channel, no American Idol. Saddam Hussein and the Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeni ruled Iraq and Iran, respectively. George W. Bush was the fairly unnoticeable son of the then-president. If you asked someone to “email me,” you would have received a blank stare, and “Amazon” was a forest in South America. Finally, 20 years ago a young man named Barack Obama was elected the first black president of the Harvard Law Review. The two decades from 1988 to 2008 have proved to be some of the most pivotal in America’s history. Based on a lifetime of experience in government and education, William J. Bennett defines the events that shaped American history during the final years of the century.
No Fox News? No reality television? Foreign policy realists at the helm? George W. Bush running a baseball franchise? Maybe those “interwar” years were the good old days.