The typical public school education in government, history, economics, and law is usually an indoctrination into a quasi-socialist point of view. Rarely are students taught about natural law, free market economics, and limited government. Numerous books can help both us and our children learn what we need to know, but it can be difficult to identify those books. Richard J. Maybury offers such assistance in Evaluating Books: What Would Thomas Jefferson Think About This?
Evaluating Books is an excellent follow-up to Maybury's books, Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? and Whatever Happened to Justice? The book basically has two parts—one for "positive indicators" and one for "negative indicators." Under each heading are a number of topics such as the Great Depression, child labor laws, unions, quality of life, and isolationism. For example, on the topic of isolationism we first find the statist viewpoint stated, "Isolationism is bad." But the other side of the story is summarized in a few paragraphs explaining the views of the founding fathers on the subject. This is accompanied by a single quote from George Washington and three from Jefferson. Last is a bibliography of recommended reading on the topic, with indications of appropriate age levels (these are mostly for students high-school age and older).
Ultimately, this is more than a "book guide" because it teaches basic principles of economics and government in bite-size nuggets, with examples to take it beyond theory. Although it lacks a Christian perspective, this book reflects political, legal, and economic viewpoints of the Founding Fathers.—Our thanks to Cathy Duffy for this content.