Robert C. Etheredge has masterfully compiled a go-to resource of American history that EVERY American needs to read- whether they are natural-born citizens who have lived here all their lives or first-generation immigrants. The American Challenge is well-written and easy to read and includes a short summary of the major events in American history in timeline format, relating these events to what was happening in the world-at-large at the same time. Also included is a short biography of each President, lists of American poets, songs, movies, books, food, inventions…everything that America is famous for and that a well-educated American should know about his country! A copy of the founding documents as well as a transcript of important speeches given by key leaders in both ancient and recent history is included.
I believe every American should read this book and have a mastery of the content within. Do you know who becomes President if both the Vice President and the Speaker of the House are unable to fill the vacancy? Do you know which denomination of money is called a “fin”? What about a “sawbuck”? Do you know who Pecos Bill was? Betsy Ross? Black Bart? John Dillinger? Do you know what Walt Disney’s first two movies were? Have you heard the story of the “Candy Bomber”?
I challenge you to take the Citizenship Test included at the end. Can you pass the test required to become a naturalized American citizen? Do you think it would be a good idea to require every American to pass the Citizenship Test (thus demonstrating an understanding of American history and how our government works) and take the oath of allegiance before being issued their first voting rights? Would doing so give American voters a better understanding of the responsibility and privilege of choosing our leaders? Would it encourage Americans to vote according to their world-view and truly-held values rather than which political party captures their attention?