This Country of Ours, Part 3

Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher: Alcazar AudioWorks

Date: January 2004

Duration: 2 hours 7 minutes

Summary:

This Series, in seven parts, tells the story of America from the earliest founding through the days of Woodrow Wilson and The Great War (World War I). In Part 3, you'll hear stories of the settlement of the New England Colonies.

Table of Contents:
1. The Story of the Pilgrim Fathers
2. The Founding of Massachusetts
3. The Story of Harry Vane
4. The Story of Anne Hutchinson And the Founding of Rhode Island
5. The Founding of Harvard
6. How Quakers First Came to New England
7. How Maine and New Hampshire Were Founded
8. The Founding of Connecticut and War With the Indians
9. The Founding of New Haven
10. The Hunt For the Regicides
11. King Philip's War
12. How the Charter of Connecticut Was Saved
13. The Witches of Salem

AUTHOR
Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall (1867 - 1941) was a British author, most famous for her works of history for children.

For decades, Marshall's books were ubiquitous in schools and home libraries. Much of the popularity of her works stems from her talent for making history read like good storytelling.

COMMENTARY
Reviews for Alcazar AudioWorks' production of This Country of Ours, Part 3
This Country of Ours is American history as we love to read it: written by a gifted storyteller, who evidently was drawing on original sources, and published over a hundred years ago, adding richness to the language. Alcazar Audioworks has undertaken to make this book available on CD, divided into eight parts. I like being able to buy a set like this piecemeal; it means that I can buy just the part(s) I need for this year's history, helping me to economize.

If you want to get a flavor for this book, you can find it online as a free e-text. I like having it as an audiobook, as we can listen to the CD together or my students can listen when I'm busy with something else. The readings are divided into tracks, making it easy to break up the reading and have the listeners tell back (or narrate) what they've heard.

Part Three: Stories of New England is comprised of chapters 22 to 34. Here we have the story of the Pilgrims, including their move to Leyden and their troubles with the Speedwell. You'll find more detail in a book devoted to the Pilgrims, such as Margaret Pumphrey's Pilgrim Stories or James Daugherty's Landing of the Pilgrims, but This Country of Ours hits the highlights and goes on to talk about the founding of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Main, New Hampshire, and Connecticut. Interspersed you'll find stories of famous historical figures. There are heroes and villains, shining moments and terrible times, such as the witch trials of Salem.

Two readers alternate, helping to keep the listener's attention, and they read in a lively manner, adding interest to an already interesting story. These are the sorts of tales that make for vivid re-enactments later, especially of battles and thrilling adventures.

One note of caution: As This Country of Ours was published in 1917, it does not meet today's standards of political correctness. For example, Native Americans are variously referred to as ""savages,"" ""Indians,"" and ""Redmen."" We use this sort of reference as a jumping off place for discussion. In any event, the author is not one to gloss over the failings of the Europeans in this history, laying out in painstaking detail flaws, as well as heroic deeds on the part of all the participants in the telling. The author draws from original sources such as journals and letters, and history is neither romanticized nor sanitized for the modern student.

This Country of Ours is one of the books used in the Ambleside Online curriculum. The sets correspond to the divisions within the book, rather than Ambleside Online years. However, it is not difficult to figure out which set(s) are needed, if you compare the chapter listings on Alcazar's and Ambleside's websites.

Whether or not you are using Ambleside Online's reading list, you'll find This Country of Ours a fascinating look at early American History. Highly recommended.
Reviewed By: Virginia Jones - Eclectic Homeschool Online
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