Since Monday was President's day, we have been reading some various books about past presidents of the United States. One, in particular, was about Abraham Lincoln. The book mentioned that President Lincoln would take visits from citizens-and help them whenever he could. He would also write letters, including sending out autographs to those who wrote to ask. My children thought this sounded wonderful and thought we should head down to the White House and see President Obama. I had to explain that our President no longer takes visitors that simply show up to see him. He is a very busy man, too busy to see us!
That was 140 years ago, and the differences in society are huge. Let's back it up even further to the very beginning. When Franklin, and Madison, and Washington were around. When they sat down and used their wisdom to layout the government for our new country. I wonder how much more things have changed?
Better yet...let's think about what would happen if THEY came here...to year 2013...
What Would the Founding Fathers Think? by David Bowman proposes just that. Benjamin Franklin, inventor that he was, invents a time machine. He, James Madison, and George Washington all squish in the little machine and take the ride of their lives, only to discover the biggest shock of their lives.
Once they arrive here in the 21st century, they manage to find a contraption that Franklin calls 'Share Knowledge with Young People Everywhere.' or SKYPE. Lol! And the three go about making their findings of the state of the nation and their opinions on how well their intentions have been carried out. As you might be able to tell from the looks on their faces on the cover-they, well, are not exactly pleased with how the US looks 230 years later.
I don't know about you, but so often in life I have found then when talking about politics people just turn off-or get angry. It's such a daunting subject and-too often-no one really gets it anyways. They don't understand why we do things the way we do, and have no clue what we did 200 years ago. They do care, but they don't have time to read about history when current day is overwhelming. And that's adults!
If we have that much of a challenge getting our adults to understand, getting children to understand what our founding fathers meant when they set up the Constitution or Bill of Rights is nearly impossible! It's boring, it's overwhelming, and it doesn't have anything to do with them anyways-right?
Author David Bowman starts out the book with three main points:
1. The United States of America was and is the greatest nation on earth.
2. Today, the United States of America is in serious trouble.
3. You will inherit the USA-and all its problems-in just a few short years.
Mr. Bowman goes on to explain how it got this way, and what is need to fix it. He writes this in easy to understand language, in a way that kids ages 8 and up can understand! Using his amazing talent, he illustrates the book with funny and entertaining graphics.
He covers topics such as the proper roll of government,
separation of church and state,
But, the best part of the book, IMO, is when he discusses the two pyramids of government.
This is how the US government was designed to work:
But, when they come for a visit, the founding fathers feel that our pyramid has been slightly altered and is looking a bit more like this:
"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." John Adams
So what did we think?
I've, honestly, never seen something so well done on this subject! I figured it would be quite some time before I was able to discuss politics with my children. But, What Would the Founding Fathers Think? has been written at a level that even Mustang voluntarily picked it up.
She doesn't understand most of what is in the book, but it has opened up an opportunity for lots of conversations about government, how our country works, and if it needs to be changed.
My favorite part is that-no matter whether our country can be turned around or not-knowing that God was the foundation of the pyramid for our Founding Fathers is challenging to each individual. It's a key component of our nation's history that is left out of our public school's history lessons and is on it's way to being left out of our nation's future completely.
What Would the Founding Fathers Think? is designed to be a young American's guide to understanding what makes our nation great and how we've strayed. But, I think that it should be read by young and old Americans alike. It's a quick read that will leave a lasting mark!
What Would the Founding Fathers Think? by David Bowman
Paperback, 122 pages
Retail price: $11.99
Also available in Kindle and Audio CD formats
I'd love to hear your thoughts on teaching our children about our founding fathers. Do you think they would be happy with our current state? What needs to change? When is a good age to start talking about this with your children?
Thanks for stopping by!!
Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of What Would the Founding Fathers Think? I agreed to read the book and write this blog post. All opinions expressed are my own. I was not compensated in any other way.