University of Dayton history professor Larry Schweikart is adding to his series of published history books, “A Patriot’s History.”
Schweikart released his new book, “A Patriot’s History of the Modern World from America’s Exceptional Ascent to the Atomic Bomb: 1898-1945,” on Oct. 11. In addition to his book’s release, PBS will be airing his documentary, “Rockin’ the Wall,” on Sunday, Oct. 21.
Schweikart said he began writing the book in 2007 with co-author Dave Dougherty. Once he and Dougherty paired up, Schweikart said the book was finished in about a year.
Schweikart said he got the idea for his new book from his previous books, including The New York Times No. 1 best seller, “A Patriot’s History of the United States: From Columbus’s Great Discovery to the War on Terror.” According to Schweikart, almost a third of a million copies were sold, and a million were put into print.
“I liked to joke we almost have as much sold as Oprah has viewers,” Schweikart said. “I had it in my heart to take Patriot’s History global in light of how would Americans view world history in terms of a conservative American interpretation.”
Schweikart said the new book is only the first volume and that volume two will be out sometime next year. Schweikart said volume two is already written and currently being edited.
According to Schweikart, the process of writing the book was not easy, and he decided a co-author might help him, especially with areas like World War I and II.
“My co-author, Dave Dougherty, is kind of a genius at that kind of stuff, so it helps to have a co-author and somebody you can work with very well,” Schweikart said.
Schweikart said that many of his UD teaching experiences have influenced content in the book.
Schweikart said that one book in particular, “America’s Victories: Why the U.S. Wins Wars and Will Win the War on Terror,” was “developed substantially” out of his technology and cultural war class.
“I began to put those ideas together and this [book] is kind of my technology and cultural war class in small,” Schweikart said.
According to a University of Dayton press release, “Rockin’ the Wall,” the documentary Schweikart produced, is based off of one of Schweikart’s books, “7 Events that made America, America,” and debuted two years ago in Dayton. Schweitkart said the film will air nationally on PBS stations on Sunday.
Schweikart said the documentary is about how rock music helped bring down the Iron Curtain of the former Soviet Union. He said he started to discuss the idea for the plot around June or July 2009.
“We began fundraising in September or October 2009, and we had enough money by January that we could start production,” Schweikart said. “We began shooting film, [and] we were fully funded by July or August 2010 and it was done almost one year to the date we started.”
Schweikart said some of the people he interviewed were Robby Krieger of the Doors, Mark Stein and Vinny Martell of Vanilla Fudge, David Paich of Toto and the band Mother’s Finest.
According to Schweikart, Mother’s Finest played from East Berlin two weeks before the wall came down.
Schweikart said some other big name rock musicians didn’t get into the film.
“I had an interview with Billy Joel, and when the time came around for the interview he couldn’t do it because he was having back surgery,” Schweikart said. “I talked to Alice Cooper for the book, but he didn’t want to do an interview for the film.”
Some parts of the documentary where filmed on campus. Schweikart said he was filmed walking through the arch by St. Joseph Hall, getting interviewed in his office and lecturing about the Cold War to a class in Sears Recital Hall.
For more information about “Rockin’ the Wall,” visit rockinthewall.com.