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History Audio Tapes

by Colonial Radio Theatre

Reviewed by Martha Robinson

Purchase details: History Audio Tapes by Colonial Radio Theatre. Priced as noted. Produced by The Colonial Radio Theatre on the Air. Please support by buying these using our Amazon links below.

Jerry Robbins and the Colonial Radio Theatre players offer a number of audio performances that dramatize historic American events. Below are brief descriptions of the tapes reviewed and our familys reactions to each.

The Plimouth Adventure Voyage of Mayflower ($9.99)-- The persecution of Puritans in England and their trials in attempting to escape to Holland begin this tape. The journal of William Bradford, the leader of the expedition to the Plimouth Plantation, is used as the basis for this story. One use of the word "damn" was in this selection. Our family found this tape not as exciting as the others, but certainly historically accurate and interesting.

Old Ironsides Escape to the Wind ($9.99)-- Captain Isaac Hull commands the frigate U.S.S. Constitution at the beginning of the War of 1812. While the United States government is considering whether the war ships should be out to sea fighting British ships or sitting in port as stationary forts, Captain Hull escapes from a group of enemy ships to defeat the Guerriere another day. Dialogue among the British officers presents both sides of the war. Music and battle sound effects bring the story to life. Graphic descriptions of mortal wounds along with a few uses of "My God" and "damned" may be offensive to some families. Our family found this program to be exciting.

Old Ironsides and the Barbary Pirates ($9.99)-- Captain Edward Preble tightens discipline when he takes over command of the U.S.S. Constitution and is ordered to take up the battle against the corsairs of North Africa. After the capture of another United States ship, Captain Preble and his men attempt daring exploits to keep the ship from being used by the enemy and to free the captured crew. Again, use of "My God" detracts from this program; yet, our family enjoyed the bravery of these American heroes of the past. This is our favorite of the programs reviewed.

Battle Road, The Epic Saga of April 19, 1775 ($9.99)-- A recounting of Paul Reveres ride is followed by descriptions of battles at Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill. Again, dialogue with British soldiers and Americans presents both sides of the story. Some use of "damn" and "My God" were noted. Our family also enjoyed this audio.

Pirate Legends, Volume 1 Pirates of Old New England ($9.99)-- This audio begins with a graphic description of the end of famed pirate William Fry. Colonial Radio Theatres website cautions that this tape is for mature audiences only. We decided not to complete the story because of its high level of violence and graphic descriptions.

The Alamo ($10.99)-- Two young men join the defenders of the Alamo in the weeks before Santa Annas attack. They discuss the emotions, in-fighting of commanders, resolve, and hopelessness of the situation. The end of this tape is truly brutal with its sound effects of people being killed in the battle. While Colonial Radio Theatre states that "some sequences may be too intense for younger listeners," parents should note that this tape presents violence very realistically and decide if it is appropriate. Our family found this audio to be much more violent than we prefer.

Little Big Horn, The Bozeman Trail and the Fetterman Massacre ($17.99)-- This double tape set recounts some of the sadder parts of our nations history, battles with the Plains Indians. The story in The Bozeman Trail is written to support the perspective of the commanding colonel whose career was ended by an insubordinate officer who was massacred along with his squadron after disobeying a direct order. Little Big Horn offers a narrow overview of the events that occurred and a thorough representation of George Custers foibles. Unlike some of the other Colonial Radio productions, this audio does not present the other side, in this case the perspective of the Indians. A few instances of offensive words are present. Some families may find the brutal details to be too strong for younger listeners.

Recommendation: Colonial Radio Theatre is doing a nice job of bringing history to life. If you are looking to increase interest in history studies and to make events in history more memorable, these are a great choice. I hope that as Colonial Radio Theatre continues with programs, they will consider leaving out the offensive words that add nothing to the story and disturb Christian families. Because of these words, you may want to consider whether these are appropriate for your younger children especially. resources related to this review:'s History Section where you will find many "living" history resources!
Review of American history books by Lost Classics
Review of Famous Americans, 52 Stories to Read with a Child by Calvert School
Review of Drive Thru History America, Foundations of Character
Review of Child's History of the World by Hillyer
Review of Child's History of the World CD-ROM
Review of Song of America's Presidents
Review of Song of America's Freedoms
Review of History Songs
Review of Homeschool Radio Shows's Audio Books page with links to free on-line books and stories!

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