William Bennett

Easton Press William Bennett books

The Book of Virtues - signed first edition - 1993
The Moral Compass - signed first edition - 1995
America : The Last Best Hope - 2 volumes (volume 1 signed limited edition) - 2008

Who is William Bennett?

Born on July 31, 1943, in Brooklyn, New York, William John Bennett has been a prominent figure in American public life, known for his contributions as an educator, author, and conservative commentator. His multifaceted career spans academia, government service, and public advocacy, reflecting a commitment to shaping the intellectual and moral landscape of the nation. Bennett's educational journey began at Williams College, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy. He continued his studies at the University of Texas, where he completed his Ph.D. in political philosophy. This academic foundation laid the groundwork for Bennett's future endeavors as a scholar and intellectual. In the realm of academia, Bennett established himself as a respected figure with a focus on philosophy and political thought. He held teaching positions at institutions such as Harvard University and Boston University, imparting his insights on ethics and political philosophy to the next generation of leaders.

Bennett's public service career took a significant turn when he was appointed as the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) by President Ronald Reagan in 1981. In this role, he prioritized the promotion of classical education, historical understanding, and cultural enrichment. His tenure at the NEH reflected his dedication to preserving and transmitting the cultural and intellectual heritage of the United States. A key chapter in Bennett's public service unfolded when he assumed the role of Secretary of Education under President Ronald Reagan from 1985 to 1988. In this capacity, he championed educational excellence, advocating for rigorous standards and a return to traditional values in the nation's schools.

Beyond his governmental roles, Bennett emerged as a prominent conservative voice in the public discourse. His eloquent and forceful advocacy for conservative principles, moral values, and educational reform earned him a reputation as a thought leader within conservative circles.

As an author, Bennett has contributed extensively to the national conversation on various issues. His best-known work, The Book of Virtues (1993), served as a compendium of moral stories and lessons drawn from literature, history, and folklore. This influential work aimed to instill virtues and character development in readers, particularly children. Throughout his career, Bennett has been a sought-after commentator and analyst, offering his perspectives on television and radio programs. His articulate defense of conservative values and his commitment to fostering a sense of civic duty have solidified his standing as a significant figure in American public life.

While Bennett's career has been marked by achievements and influence, it has not been without controversy. His viewpoints, especially on issues such as education and morality, have sparked debates, reflecting the broader ideological divides in American society. William J. Bennett's journey from academia to government service and public advocacy exemplifies a life dedicated to intellectual pursuits, moral principles, and conservative values. His impact on education, culture, and political discourse has left an enduring mark on the nation, positioning him as a figure whose ideas continue to shape discussions on morality, education, and the direction of American society.

The Book of Virtues

Responsibility. Courage. Compassion. Honesty. Friendship. Persistence. Faith. Everyone recognizes these traits as essentials of good character. In order for our children to develop such traits, we have to offer them examples of good and bad, right and wrong. And the best places to find them are in great works of literature and exemplary stories from history.
William J. Bennett has collected hundreds of stories in The Book of Virtues, an instructive and inspiring anthology that will help children understand and develop character and help adults teach them. From the Bible to American history, from Greek mythology to English poetry, from fairy tales to modern fiction, these stories are a rich mine of moral literacy, a reliable moral reference point that will help anchor our children and ourselves in our culture, our history, and our traditions the sources of the ideals by which we wish to live our lives. Complete with instructive introductions and notes, The Book of Virtues is a book the whole family can read and enjoy and learn from together.

The Moral Compass - Stories for a Life's Journey

Organized by the stages along life's journey, these stories and poems serve as reference points on a moral compass, guiding the reader through the ethical and spiritual challenges along the pathway of life: leaving home, entering into marriage, easing the burdens of others, nurturing one's children, and fulfilling the obligations of citizenship and leadership.

Drawn from familiar Western history and mythology as well as a wide selection of tales and folklore from Asia, Africa, and Latin America, the stories in The Moral Compass are literary and evocative, designed to inspire as well as instruct. Complete with informative introductions and notes, The Moral Compass is an indispensable guide that will help family members meet the challenges of life at any age.

America - The Last Best Hope

"The role of history is to inform, inspire, and sometimes provoke us, which is why Bill Bennett's wonderfully readable book is so important." - Walter Isaacson

A decade ago, William J. Bennett published a magisterial three-volume account of our nation's history. Now, Bennett returns to that bestselling trilogy, revising and condensing his epic tale into one volume, a page-turning narrative of our exceptional nation. In Bennett's signature gripping prose, Washington, Franklin, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Reagan, and others reemerge not as marble icons or dust-dry names in a textbook, but as full-blooded, heroic pioneers whose far-reaching vision forged a nation that attracted and still attracts millions yearning to breathe free.

In this riveting 2 volume set, Bennett covers America’s greatest moments in breath-taking detail:
from the heroism of the Revolution to the dire hours of the Civil War,
from the progressive reforms of the early 1900s to the civil rights reforms of the 1960s,
from the high drama of the Space Race to the gut-wrenching tension of the Cold War,
from the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of global Communism to the attacks of 9-11 and the war on terror.
William J. Bennett captures the players, personalities, and pivotal moments of American history with piercing insight and unrelenting optimism. In this gripping tale of a nation, the story of what Lincoln referred to as "the last best hope of earth" comes alive in all its drama and personality.


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