"Is God and Country Patriotism on Life-Support?"
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Former White House staffer pens new series to reverse dangerous anti-patriotism trend before America's 250th birthday
CENTERVILLE, Va. -- Although this week marks both Presidents Day (Mon. Feb. 19, 2024) and George Washington’s true birthday (Thurs. Feb. 22), sadly few American students know much about America’s story. In fact, only 13 percent of 8th graders are proficient in American history (U.S. Department of Education, 2023), according to author Jane Hampton Cook, a presidential historian and former White House staffer.
“Will the spirit of 1776 be alive in 2026, when we celebrate our nation’s birthday? Or will patriotism be on life- support?” asks Cook, who has written three new books to reverse this trend in advance of America’s 250th birthday. They include "War of Lies," "The Submarine and the Spies," and "First Fireworks for Independence."
In the book, Cook highlights John Adams' accurate prediction in 1772, when he stated, “The preservation of liberty depends upon the intellectual and moral character of the people. As long as knowledge and virtue are diffused generally among the body of a nation, it is impossible they should be enslaved. This can be brought to pass only by debasing their understandings, or by corrupting their hearts."
"John Adams warned us that the survival of liberty depended on both the moral and intellectual character of the people. We are lacking both," Cook says.
Another reason Cook wrote the book series is to set the record straight for people of all ages about dangerous efforts to revise America's history.
“The 1619 Project and woke ideologies have debased Americans’ understanding of our identity and our founding. That’s why I am writing books about the American Revolution, to spark interest, spur knowledge and spread truth before we reach our 250th birthday as a nation,” Cook explains.
“We need homeschools, private schools and public schools to adopt books and curricula like these to reverse the current negative trend in education,” she concludes.
Jane Hampton Cook is an author, presidential historian and former White House webmaster. Her passion is igniting patriotism and making American history relevant to modern life, news, current events, politics and faith.
Jane is an award-winning screenwriter and author of 13 books, including Stories of Faith & Courage from the Revolutionary War. She has written screenplay adaptations for two of her books. SAVING WASHINGTON placed third in Screen Craft’s 2018 drama screenwriting contest, and AMERICAN PHOENIX was a top-ten winner in the International Screenwriting Association’s Emerging Screenwriters contest in 2020.
A national media commentator and former White House webmaster for former President George W. Bush, Jane has been a guest on the Fox News Channel, SKY News, CSPAN, BBC, WMAL, and other outlets.
Jane is a cast member in the upcoming 2025 drama THE AMERICAN MIRACLE. She has been an on-camera storyteller for several documentaries, including Fox Nation’s WHAT MADE AMERICA GREAT, hosted by Brian Kilmeade, and THE FIRST AMERICAN, a film about George Washington, hosted by Newt and Callista Gingrich.
War of Lies: When George Washington Was the Target and Propaganda Was the Crime is a nonfiction history-mystery for ages 12 and up. “I do not really wish for independence. I hope there are few who do,” George Washington allegedly wrote in 1776. Did Washington write these words or was this 18th Century-style fake news? While at Valley Forge in 1778, Washington discovers that someone has published false letters in his name in newspapers. War of Lies identifies four suspects behind these counterfeit letters and reveals a pattern of evidence pointing toward the never-before identified culprit. Not only will readers enjoy a whodunnit history mystery, but they will also discover the story of the American Revolution in time for America’s 250th anniversary in 2026. Relying on primary sources, the author has written middle school and high school curricula for War of Lies for both U.S. literature and American history courses.
The Submarine and the Spies: Friendship and Vigilance in the American Revolution is a novel based on a true story for ages 12 and up. Three friends from Yale College—Nathan Hale, David Bushnell, and Benjamin Tallmadge—must leave their world of classical Christian education to fight tyranny in the American Revolution. Their hero’s journey transforms them from students to soldiers to spies. The book and its curricula can be used in middle or high school American literature classes to teach the hero’s journey and in American history courses to teach the American Revolution. The author relied on primary sources to write this book.
First Fireworks for Independence: Virginia’s Gift to America (watch the book trailer here) is a children’s book in which Cook shares the untold origin of America's favorite July 4 tradition. The storyline follows a curious 10-year-old Virginia Rudolph, who asks her famous grandfather, "Who first launched fireworks for independence?" His answer reveals the true story behind fireworks celebrations. While traveling along with Virginia from Williamsburg to Philadelphia, Boston, Charleston, New York and Washington D.C., young readers will also discover why Americans declared independence and the name of Virginia’s famous grandfather.
Suggested Interview Questions
You’ve worked for President George W. Bush in the White House. How does the 2024 election compare to past elections?
You wrote an article on substack about early Jewish immigrants to America a week before the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel. What message should Christians send to Jewish Americans today?
War of Lies (a nonfiction history-mystery for ages 12 and up)
• This week celebrates Presidents Day and Washington’s birthday. How did George Washington credit Providence, God’s presence, for saving his life as a young soldier?
• How did Ben Franklin face colonial cancel culture? Is Franklin the father of freedom of speech?
• We hear a lot today about propaganda and disinformation. General Washington was the target of a counterfeit letter campaign in 1776, which was propaganda and fake news. Tell us about that and the curriculum that goes with the book, War of Lies?
The Submarine and the Spies (a novel for ages 12 and up)
• The American Revolution inspired many to serve in the Continental Army. Your new book, The Submarine and the Spies, identifies three Yale students who became soldiers and spies. Yale’s motto was “For God, For Country, For Yale!” These students embodied “Greater love as no man than this than to lay down his life for his friends.” Who were they and why were they important?
• The Continental Congress assigned virtues to red, white and blue. What does the color blue mean and how did George Washington embody vigilance?
• How did the Declaration of Independence’s creation clause impact civil rights and the abolition of slavery? Did black men fight in America’s Revolution?
First Fireworks for Independence (a picture book for ages 8 and up)
• How did we adopt the tradition of launching fireworks for Independence Day?
The Submarine & The Spies: Friendship & Vigilance in the American Revolution
War of Lies: When George Washington Was the Target and Propaganda Was the Crime
Resilience on Parade: Short Stories of Suffragists and Women’s Battle for the Vote
The Burning of the White House: James & Dolley Madison & the War of 1812
American Phoenix: John Quincy & Louisa Adams
America’s Star-Spangled Story
Stories of Faith & Courage from the Revolutionary War
Stories of Faith & Courage from the War in Iraq & Afghanistan
The Faith of America’s First Ladies
Books For Children
First Fireworks for Independence: Virginia’s Gift to America
What Does the President Look Like?
B is for Baylor, Maggie Houston
Movies & Documentaries
THE AMERICAN MIRACLE, 2025,
Fox Nation’s WHAT MADE AMERICA GREAT: THE WOMEN’S VOTE hosted by Brian Kilmeade
THE FIRST AMERICAN & REDISCOVERING GOD IN AMERICA, II
OUR SACRED HONOR
UNITED STUFF OF AMERICA for the History Channel’s H2 network
A GREAT & GRATEFUL NATION