What do five kernels of corn have to do with our modern Thanksgiving celebration? How did God turn tragedy for good in the life of a young man sold into slavery? Who was one of the most brilliant military minds in the U.S. Revolutionary War who later became a traitor? Did you know that God used a group of women, an 80-year old man, and the wife of a British officer to help win early victories in the Revolutionary War? All of these fascinating facts and many more are presented in Michael Medved’s riveting First Person History tape series. If you haven’t heard of Michael Medved, then you have missed a treat! Perhaps best known for his movie reviews and his nationally syndicated radio talk show, he is also interested in politics (as a reformed liberal turned conservative) and is an accomplished author. His wife is a well-known clinical psychologist and author in her own right. I first heard Mr. Medved several years ago when he served as a substitute host for the Rush Limbaugh Show, where we enjoyed his conversational tone, easy command of the topics, zest for life, and love of our country. When I saw an advertisement for his First Person History tapes, I knew they would be wonderful. I was not disappointed!
Mr. Medved studied U.S. history as an undergraduate at Yale University, where he was classmates with many future politicians, including George W. Bush, and later, at Yale Law School, with both Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton. On holidays, he uses his radio talk show to educate his listeners on the history of our nation, including a variety of topics, such as the American Revolutionary War, the first Thanksgiving, the War of 1812, patriotism, the U.S. Constitution, and even Hollywood vs. religion. These shows are then formatted to remove commercials, etc., and are available as the First Person History series from Tree Farm Communications (www.treefarmtapes.com) for sale on tape or CD ($9.95 for a single cassette; $15.00 for a single audio CD; $229 for 24 cassettes; $299.75 for 25 CDs on the American Revolution). My family and I reviewed two of the American Revolution CDs (How Paul Revere’s Ride Changed History - The Battles of Lexington and Concord and Benedict Arnold and Ethan Allen Take Fort Ticonderoga - The Battle of Bunker Hill) and the 2-CD disc set of The First Thanksgiving - Pilgrims, Puritans and the Founding of America.
Most of us remember a history teacher who had a way of bringing historical events to life. That was the sense I had when listening to these CDs. Mr. Medved focused on primarily first person accounts, such as letters and journals, in preparing his discussions of the historical topics. This is important because it eliminates much of the bias and revisionism that has become so prevalent in modern history textbooks. He not only explains the events of history, but fills in many of the hows and why’s that make our understanding of the people and events much richer. He is also bold in proclaiming the "hand of Providence" and the working of God throughout history. For a self-proclaimed "nice Jewish boy," he is extraordinarily respectful and generous in proclaiming the Christian heritage of our nation. We not only learned much about the people and events of history, but also found ourselves understanding some of the zeitgeist surrounding them. We learned more about the tradition of starting the Thanksgiving feast with five kernels of corn - a tradition our family learned about several years ago and still follow faithfully. My children were riveted and begged for more when I stopped the tapes. We also found that these tapes provided wonderful fodder to stop and discuss historical events and God’s hand in our history. We were quite impressed with these excellent CDs and look forward to finishing the series. The First Person History tapes are not only accurate and interesting, but provide a fascinating glimpse into many of the most significant events of our great land!
Publishers' Note: This product recommended by TOS for informational purposes only (cultural, historical, literary, etc.). Please see our statement of faith at http://www.theoldhomeschoolhouse.com/statement_faith.htm.