SUMMARY: A Patriot’s History of the United States tells a story of America as a special nation—a “City on a Hill”—not because the people in America are, or were, better than anyone else, but because from the beginning those settling the New World adopted systems that embraced primarily these three elements: private property rights, religious virtues [that emphasized personal character], and competition at all levels, from political parties to structures of government to market activities. All three were intricately wound together. Learning “just the facts” of the American past inevitably leads to the conclusion that the United States is the best place on earth, and that it has acted, for the most part, far better than any other nation at any other time.
Larry Schweikart is a professor of history at the University of Dayton, specializing in business and economic history, technology and war issues, and American history. He received his Ph.D. at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is co-author with University of Washington-Tacoma professor Michael Patrick Allen of A Patriot’s History of the United States: From Columbus’s Great Discovery to the War on Terror. In 2000, Schweikart published The Entrepreneurial Adventure, a history of American business. He has also published more than 20 books, some 50 academic articles, close to 100 book reviews, and hundreds of essays. His Internet piece, “The Weight of the World and the Responsibility of a Generation,” (9/16) written after President Bush’s National Cathedral speech, circulated so widely that it came to the attention of the President.