Heroes of Liberty: A History Teacher’s Review

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The Heroes of Liberty children’s book series is absolutely brilliant. The need for great heroes for children to look to and follow after is sorely needed today. The series could not have picked two better heroes to start the series with than Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Sowell. Both men overcame tremendous difficulties in their life and both men’s accomplishments are vast and long lasting.  

The Alexander Hamiliton book has an interesting subtitle of,  “From Immigrant Boy To Founding Father.” Most children don’t think of men like our founding fathers not being born in our country, but this fact along with his childhood poverty and the abandonment of his father and the death of his mother at a young age is well documented in an easy to read and well illustrated fashion for children to understand.  What is also shown to the challenge of all readers is Alexander’s ability at a young age to work hard and excel enough to be able to make it to America, where he would go to find great success. This book not only challenges every one of us to apply ourselves fully to our circumstances, but it also leads us to a place of appreciation for the accomplishments of a young man to whom we are all indebted to for his efforts in establishing this great nation. 

Thomas Sowell is a much more modern example of a great hero and one that is sorely needed. Not much is taught to children about this great economic and political philosopher, but as any reader of his book (in this series) will find, he is a great example of a modern hero. This book not only works to challenge children with examples of Thomas Sowell overcoming great obstacles in his youth, but it also works to express his philosophies about work and accomplishment. One part of the book that’s ingenious is one of the last pages, where a majority of his literary works are displayed so any studious child or interested adult could go and find the works of Thomas Sowell and research his philosophies. Thomas Sowell is shown to be a true hero of our time and is a challenge for any reader to apply themselves and then to stand confidently against opposition with truth on your side. 

My only issue with this series so far is the limited number of books available. The subjects are expertly chosen, the pages beautifully illustrated and stories historically accurate, riveting, and palatable for children. The series, so far, does a great job at not shying away from the evils of our past while also lifting up the individuals that overcame and fought against such evils. I look forward to what this series has next. 

The Heroes of Liberty series overall is a beautifully written and illustrated series of children’s books, but Thomas Sowell, A Self-Made Man, is a wonderful book in its own right. It is such a great book because of its subject, Thomas Sowell, who is one of the premier economic and political philosophers of our day. Thomas Sowell is indeed one of the heroes of our day but sadly not much is taught or known of him, and today’s children need great heroes now more than ever. 

The focus of the book is on Sowell’s success that came from applying himself into his studies and work. This is visually seen on the first page of the book which shows his movements all over the nation in his pursuit of success. It visually shows that it doesn’t matter where you come from if you work hard and are willing to sacrifice you can accomplish much. 

 The author does a great job at not hiding the nuisance of Sowell’s difficult life while also making it palatable for children. This is best seen during the childhood of Sowell’s life which was truly poverty stricken and full of sorrow but was also shown to be full of love. The book also expresses that Sowell did not just overcome hardships as an adult but was able to overcome them as a child as well. There are many examples in the book of how Sowell, in his childhood, stood confident in his abilities and his work against strong opposition, an attribute which served Sowell well in adulthood as he would continuously have to stand against opposition. This attribute of his to stand on facts born out of hard study and introspection was something that first drew me to him as I was introduced to him on the Firing Line program. It didn’t matter who was standing in opposition to him and what challenge they would bring Thomas Sowell always had the confident right answer. 

The book also doesn’t shy away from the segregation that Thomas had to endure throughout his life. Instead of making Thomas the victim the author shows how he was able to overcome it while also showing what it would be like to grow up as Thomas in that era. The book goes on to detail Sowell’s philosophy on affirmative action, which would be one of Sowell’s most controversial philosophies, by telling a story of a struggling immigrant who instead of just helping by giving a better grade Sowell decides to personally tutor. 

Thomas Sowell, A Self-Made man, is indeed a wonderful book for any child. It gives them a wonderful example of a man who through great opposition overcame and accomplished and continues to accomplish much. It also does a great job at opening them up to the philosophies of Sowell and is a challenge to us all to study his works and to become a better citizen. 

Steven Studer
Steven Studer is a former history teacher from central Indiana.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Chalkboard Review team.

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