Schweikart (History/Univ. of Dayton; What Would the Founders Say?: A Patriot’s Answers to America’s Most Pressing Problems, 2011, etc.) and Dougherty (co-author: The Patriot’s History Reader: Essential Documents for Every American, 2011) pen a conservative paean to American exceptionalism.
In 2004, Schweikart published A Patriot’s History of the United States (co-authored with Michael Allen) as a conservative response to Howard Zinn’s bestselling A People’s History of the United States. This similarly titled book has a narrower focus, filtering a half-century of American history—from 1898 to 1945—through a right-wing lens. The authors focus on American involvement in both World Wars and how American virtues, particularly free-market capitalism, helped to win them. An overarching theme is the idea of American exceptionalism, that the United States is a “shining city upon a hill” above all others. The book is aimed at a hard-core Republican audience, so while it is extensively sourced and footnoted, it is steeped in conservative dogma. The authors label progressivism as “one of the most destructive forces since slavery” and Woodrow Wilson as a “self-appointed messiah,” and the phrase “economic justice” appears only in ironic quotation marks. The authors even paint Warren G. Harding, consistently ranked by many historians as one of the worst presidents in American history, as a thoughtful and capable leader. They also discount criticism of Japanese-American internment during World War II, implying that it was justified by FBI-gathered evidence—though they grudgingly note that “Japanese-Americans’ life in the camps was no picnic.”
A predictable right-wing slant on American history.