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New High School History Textbook Earns High Praise from Catholic and University Educators

LOS ANGELES, April 28, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Lands of Hope and Promise, the newest high school history textbook in a series of highly praised, beautiful history textbooks published by Catholic Textbook Project, earns the highest praise from Monsignor Sal Pilato, superintendent of high schools, Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and others.

“As a former secondary history teacher and principal,” says Monsignor Sal Pilato in recommending Lands of Hope and Promise to high school educators in the archdiocese, “I can say that these are excellent textbooks that really fill an important gap in our efforts to teach the full story of history, the honest story which includes the Church's role in the formation and growth of our country and civilization. I encourage you to look at them carefully and consider them for your American history courses.”

Michael Van Hecke, M.Ed., school headmaster, founder and president of the Catholic Textbook Project, is grateful but not surprised by the praise.

“We are very attentive to producing well-researched, accurate history textbooks that present history as a real-life human story,” says Van Hecke, “because ultimately that’s what history is; the story of significantly impactful human achievements and decisions, good and bad, over the centuries.”

“The journalistic, story-like narrative writing style of these history textbooks,” Van Hecke explains, “quickly engages students in a way that makes them want to keep learning and to keep reading.”

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, Van Hecke says that inner city schools that adopted these textbooks saw student reading scores dramatically improve; results echoed by teachers and principals elsewhere.

“Other middle and high-school history textbooks lack the qualities that Catholic Textbook Project’s offer… beautifully and clearly presented. Without proselytizing, and without pressing any worldview other than the importance of understanding the past,” says Jeffrey Burton Russell, Ph.D., Professor of History, Emeritus, UC, Santa Barbara.

“Teachers and students who use the Catholic Textbook Project series will be happy to know that in college its readers will know more about history than many of their professors as well as most of their classmates,” Dr. Russell adds.

Kevin Starr, California State Librarian Emeritus, professor of history at University of Southern California (USC), a graduate of UC, Berkeley and of Harvard, whose honors include the USC Medallion 2005, National Humanities Medalist 2006, Centennial Medalist, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, concurs with Dr. Russell.

“This carefully researched, beautifully written, and elegantly designed four-volume textbook series at long last gives full weight to the contribution of Roman Catholics across five centuries of North American exploration and settlement,” says Dr. Starr. “The saga of France and Spain in this regard is already well known. These wonderful volumes, however, now bring to light the English-speaking Roman Catholic presence in North America and the contributions of Catholics of many backgrounds to the creation and development of the United States.”

Principals and teachers whose high schools use the newest textbook agree.

"It is refreshing to find a U.S. History text where the foundation of our government as a Republic is emphasized, where our roots in western civilization are embraced, and where the freedom to practice one’s religious beliefs is made abundantly clear,” says Anthony Biese, principal of St. Joseph Academy in San Marcos, CA.

“I know of no other Catholic high school textbook which does such a masterful job of presenting North American History in a way that makes students proud, in a good way, of being fully American and fully Catholic,” Biese adds.

“The Lands of Hope and Promise textbook tells our history as a nation and culture, with compelling narrative and pivotal excerpts from original sources,” says Nicholas Zepeda, history teacher at St. Augustine Academy in Ventura, CA.

“It provides an essentially complete and well-researched American history including the role played by individual Catholics in our country,” Zepeda continues. “Students will be able to see the uniqueness and greatness of the principles and ideals that inspired the founding of our nation and will be equipped to weigh historical events in their light.”

“It is an important tool in preparing our young people to be the virtuous, humble Catholic leaders of tomorrow,” sums up Biese.

For more information on Lands of Hope and Promise go to: www.CatholicTextbookProject.com

Contact: Karen Walker, media relations 949.370.1442 // karen@catholictextbookproject.com

Source:Catholic Textbook Project