Quest of a Hemisphere, by Donzella Cross Boyle, Appleton, Wis.: Robert Welch University Press, 2002 (originally published in 1970), 633 pages, hardcover, $24.95. (For ordering information, see the bottom of page 26.)
Of the many laudable traits found in the individuals who created the United States of America, two are most noteworthy. One was their goodness. In general, these remarkable men were God-fearing and did not seek personal wealth, power, or glory. They sought political and economic freedom in addition to an ability to practice religion as they believed. And they wanted freedom, not just for themselves, but for all who sought to escape the shackles imposed by rulers in the old world.
The second significant characteristic found in these extraordinary individuals was their knowledge of history. Having learned from the frequent mistakes and occasional successes of others, they knew that freedom's greatest enemy has always been too much government. So they constructed a system with the amount needed for maintaining both freedom and good order. The goodness and the wisdom of America's Founders led to creating the greatest experiment in human liberty. Theirs is a story that should always be celebrated, never distorted or suppressed. But the times in which we live are full of distortion and outright suppression of these men's deeds, of our remarkable nation's beginning, and of much of its history into the 20th century.
Approximately 50 years ago, Mrs. Donzella Cross Boyle concluded that the fundamentals making this nation the envy of mankind weren't being given to young Americans. Though not completely alone in her discovery, this remarkable lady did something about it. She began a labor of love resulting in a history book for junior high school students, one written to tell the unvarnished story about the people and events that shaped, not only this nation, but an entire hemisphere. Her text is crammed with facts and inspiration designed to keep alive the wisdom of America's Founders and to maintain the experiment they launched.
After completing the herculean task of writing the book, her next obstacle was to find a publisher. After repeated rejections, she realized that her work didn't appeal to the leaders of the educational community. Her dogged but unsuccessful pursuit revealed that socialists and liberals had largely gained control of America's textbook-publishing empire. The infuriating reasons the "experts" gave her for rejecting it convinced her even more of its need. So frustrating was her unfulfilled search that, nearing the brink of despair, she penned a small book entitled American History Was My Undoing. When it came to the attention of the leaders of The John Birch Society, her search ended and Quest of a Hemisphere was published in 1970 by Western Islands, a JBS publishing affiliate.
Parents who had already noted deficiencies in the educational establishment's approved works jumped at the chance to obtain the Boyle alternative for their youngsters. The popularity of Quest of a Hemisphere led to several printings and, as America's home-school population continues to swell, it has become one of the more sought-after history texts available in our nation. The latest printing of Quest was released earlier this year by Robert Welch University, named after the John Birch Society's founder.
Making History Come Alive
Not an ordinary text filled only with tedious dates and dry details, Quest employs the documents, diaries, letters, and statements produced by the individuals who discovered, colonized, and built America. Its 269 illustrations depict America's birth and development -- sketches, portraits, and reproductions from the various periods of our nation's history. In narrative style, unusual for a history text, Mrs. Boyle begins with Columbus' voyages, and then proceeds to the exploits of Cortez and Coronado, Pizzaro and Balboa, Diaz and da Gama, Cabral and Vespucci, Magellan and Hudson, all of whom contributed in some way to the eventual settling and taming of the Western Hemisphere. …