When I chose A Century Turns: New Fears, New Hopes–America 1988 to 2008, by William J. Bennett, from the BookSneeze reviewer program, I was curious if it would give me a historical glimpse of the last 20 years or just be an opinionated tome of political rantings. Curiosity isn’t always the best way to choose your reading material, but, in this case, it led me to the kind of quality nonfiction I might have missed otherwise.

A Century Turns is an in-depth look at the influence of the last 20 years on America. Instead of rote recitation of doings and affairs, the reader gets analysis through perspective. Century is not only readable, it’s a story that I didn’t know I had lived through!

Between 1998 and 2008, I graduated from college and entered the workforce in a new capacity. I earned a master’s degree, joined the Catholic Church, and married a man I didn’t think existed. I became a home owner. I entered the wide world of parenthood and became an active citizen in a whole new sense.

Reading A Century Turns at this point in my life, on the cusp of my third child’s birth, about a stretch of time during which I was pretty politically clueless, was interesting in a way that quite possibly no other reading I’ve ever done has been. I knew the names, but I had, in many instances, no idea that many of the major events had happened in the depth and range they had.

Bennett doesn’t just present the facts, but he tells a story, and that’s what kept me reading.

I didn’t realize I liked history until I read The Frontiersman, by Alan Eckert, a few years ago at my husband’s insistence. My husband doesn’t often rave about books, but he was unwavering in putting this book under my nose (not that I usually need much encouragement in that regard).

History, I found out, is not a static listing of events and dates, but is a story waiting to be masterfully told. A Century Turns reminded me of the delight I had when I read The Frontiersman, the feeling of “Hey! This REALLY HAPPENED!” It made me, in fact, want to read more history.

I received a complimentary this book because I agreed to review it. There was never any implication that I would give a good review, though. If you’re interested in reviewing books for Thomas Nelson, check out BookSneeze.com.