Mr. Bowman wrote a fabulous book about our Founding Fathers and the Constitution.
Educating Young Americans
We conducted a phone interview with Mr. Bowman and learned many things about our great nation.He explained that America is only as good as its next generation.He has four children himself and he wrote this book to educate other children.He is an artist and a teacher who combined both of his talents to make this interesting and informative book.Thank you, Mr. Bowman, for your time!
Inspiring a New Generation
Mr. David Bowman, a writer from Arizona, worked to intertwine strong American messages within the covers of his book, What Would the Founding Fathers Think?Hoping to inspire the next generation of young Americans, he filled his book with intricate drawings, modern characters, and fun facts, all while never straying from his main point.Bowman wanted to encourage and motivate young readers of all ages to take action and create change in the country that they love.He showed great passion and dedication to the readers and his stimulating message.
“…I’m hoping they [the readers] will realize how great our nation really is, how unique.I think when you’re young…we don’t appreciate what the country is about, what freedoms and liberties that we don’t appreciate that if we lived in different countries we wouldn’t have them….I want young people to realize that our country is in trouble.We are straying away from these founding principles….I hope the young people will feel a sense of ownership…Sometimes young people think “Oh, we’re just young.It doesn’t matter.The adults are going to make all the decisions.”This may be true now, but in a few years, you are going to be over 18 and of voting age, and you guys can make things happen and make the decisions.So I want them to be like, “OK, as I get older, I’m learning about these things, I love this country.I want it to continue, and as I get older, I’m going to do something about it, and be involved.”
When asked why he wanted to write a book to the children of America, he conveyed, “I guess I’m a kind of teacher at heart, I just love any chance to teach, and so my mind immediately thinks, “What is there out there to teach young people…about the Founding Fathers but…to make it fun?”I looked around and there was really nothing out there that I thought did a good job or at least hit the main points that I would hit.So I thought I could come up with something.Hopefully it could be a teaching tool…that will show what our nation’s really all about.”
His desire for the American children to know is to “appreciate and love the greatness of the country you were raised in and do your all to help it continue.”
We would like to thank Mr. Bowman for taking the time to inspire us with a yearning to reinvent, recreate, and remodel America.Thank you for the interview.
“WHAT WOULD THE FOUNDING FATHERSTHINK?“
Kate: What inspired you to write your book for this audience?
Mr. Bowman: A couple of reasons. One, I have little children myself, and as I started to get excited about learning more about our founding fathers and principles, I guess I’m a kind of teacher at heart, I just love any chance to teach, and so my mind immediately thinks, “What is there out there to teach young people, older kids or teenagers about the Founding Fathers but do it in a way that’s not just like a boring textbook, but make it fun?” I looked around and there was really nothing out there that I thought did a good job or at least hit the main points that I would hit. I’ve written some other books as well. So I thought I could come up with something. Hopefully it could be a teaching tool, and it’s worth something, that it will show what our nation’s really all about.
Gabby: Why did you think it was important to educate kids on the history of our nation?
Mr. Bowman: I have often said that our nation is only as good as our next generation. Our country has constantly evolved, depending on who the next generation is. It could be adults running the country, and running for office. For older people, it is kind of too late for us. We had our chance, our time. We are still learning; that’s fine. But I thought if we could teach young people from early on, then they could get those ideas started when they’re young. To be honest, when you’re your age, that’s when you’re most impressionable. That’s when you can really get excited about what you’re learning, and it’s fun. Sometimes older people think they know it all, and they’re not that excited about learning.
Kate: Have you learned anything about yourself, your values, or your nation in the process of writing this book?
Mr. Bowman: Yes. I have learned a lot. I enjoyed researching it. One book I read is called “The 5,000 Year Leap.” It is a pretty famous book. I kept on learning about it and I was getting more and more excited. But the whole trick for me, is that there are so many things you can talk about as far as the founding fathers and founding principles, but the real trick for me is how do you break all these ideas down to really simplify it, and in visual way that’s really simple. So there were a few paragraphs I did, and that’s what I felt inspired me to come up with that idea. I don’t think it was my idea alone. I think God helped inspire me to teach it in that way.
Gabby: How did you conduct your research?
Mr. Bowman:Well, I had that one book that was my favorite, and I found other books. I would look at quotes from founding fathers and make sure that the quotes I’m including were real quotes, not just ones we find on the internet that people say the founders said, but what they really did. So I found authentic information. Maybe about 6 or 8 books that I used, and some from the internet, that based it on those sources.
Kate: What knowledge or feeling do you want your readers to discover from reading “What Would the Founding Fathers Think?
Mr. Bowman:One, I’m hoping they will realize how great our nation really is, how unique. I think when you’re young, and even when you’re older like myself, we take for granted America, and we don’t appreciate what the country is about, what freedoms and liberties we have. We don’t appreciate that if we lived in different countries we wouldn’t have them. So I want them to appreciate how great this nation is. But not just that—I want young people to realize that our country is in trouble. We are straying away from these founding principles. So I hope the young people will feel a sense of ownership for this country. Sometimes young people think “Oh, we’re just young. It doesn’t matter. The adults are going to make all the decisions.” This may be true now, but in a few years, you are going to be over 18 and of voting age, and you guys can make things happen and make the decisions. So I want them to like “OK, as I get older, I’m learning about these things, I love this country. I want it to continue, and as I get older, I’m going to do something about it, and be involved.” That is why I am writing this book. …
Kate: If you could tell every child in America one thing, what would it be?
Mr. Bowman: Appreciate and love the greatness of the country you were raised in and do you all to help it continue.
Gabby: Who is your favorite person in history?
Mr. Bowman: Since we are talking about founding fathers, and this time period of history, obviously George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, they were great. I always mention James Madison. He is one of the founders in the book. Some people say, “I don’t know much about James Madison.” He really is a father of the Constitution. And as you learn in the back of the book, if it weren’t for his efforts to try to get all the representatives of the different states together, for the Constitutional Convention, because that was what was really troubling him, they had just won the war, and they were struggling on how to run this new country. Because of his efforts, he got everybody together to rewrite the articles of confederation and have a new constitution. He was one of the younger guys. He was in his 30s. He wasn’t a big, strong guy. He was kind of tiny and short. He was a really smart man. And he had enough love for the country to make it happen. He was brilliant. He had amazing ideas. And more than any founding father, his ideas are really the ones they drew from to make the constitution.
Kate: How has knowledge of the Constitution influenced your work?
Mr. Bowman: People might say, “What’s so great about the Constitution? It’s just a bunch of rules and things.” What I love about the Constitution is that it is limited, in that it limits government. It shows, here are a few specific things that you as the government can do, and the other things are left up to the states. It is important to know the Constitution because it is possible to get the idea that the federal government, the government of the United States, is the only thing, that they can do everything. They have all these programs and all these ways to try to take care of all the people. But in the original Constitution they don’t have the intention to do all the things that they’re trying to do.
Gabby: We did you decide to write this book in comic form?
Mr. Bowman: I am an artist. I went to college and got a degree in illustration. And I used to teach at the high school level. And to me, if you don’t have pictures, if you don’t have visuals, then people are not really going to pay attention. It has to be fun to look at. I decided to do it half comic book and half in dialogue just because I thought it would be a fun way to teach ideas, a real conversation instead of just reading about it, like a textbook. And you guys are used to chatroom style, and icons. I thought it would be more original, more interesting, and kids would relate to it more, to do it in the style that I did.
Kate: Could you comment on something from the Constitution that is most relevant to our lives today?
Mr. Bowman: The Bill of Rights, which came a little bit after, is extremely relevant. The Bill of Rights is the first amendments, which talk about freedom of press and religion, and all the freedoms we were allowed. In that Bill of Rights, the 10th amendment that says that all the powers that are not mentioned in the Constitution to be given to the federal government are reserved to the states only. The Bill of Rights–1st amendment and the 10th amendment–those are all extremely relevant to our lives today.
Gabby: Did anything surprise you when you were researching the book?
Mr. Bowman: What surprises me the least is that the founders of this country were brilliant, smart people. They were just trying out a new experiment called the United States of America. Nobody had done it like they had. They were just trying to figure out what to do. There was no guarantee that it would work, that the country would succeed. We have this idea of US history that it was inevitable that the United States would be a great nation. But back in their time, they didn’t see history like we do. They didn’t know about what would become of the United States. They were very ordinary men, trying to do the best they can to install a government such that it would work effectively for the people.
Kate: What aspect of the Constitution is sometimes misunderstood?
Mr. Bowman: I’ll go back to the 10th amendment, that the rights of the federal government can’t do anything it just wants to, that the states have most of the rights. I think one thing that is not a part of the actual Constitution, for some people who say the first and second amendments—the first is freedom of religion. The second amendment is about gun rights. That is sometimes misunderstood. Some liberals think that doesn’t really apply to common citizens. I think one clause that is really misunderstood is the separation of church and state. I think we have changed that so that now you can’t have anything related to church, that government has to be completely separate. But the original intention of the founders was not to completely eliminate anything faith filled or religious out of government or out of public space. The concept of separation of church and state is often misunderstood.
Gabby: So what can we do to support the Constitution, to keep it strong?
Mr. Bowman: I think in the back of my book I talk about this for young people. The first thing, in that pyramid, is that you make sure that you are living a life in which God is the foundation, that you are developing values and virtues in your life and learning how to be independent, to be self-governed. Then the second important thing is to learn as much as you can about the Founding Fathers, and about what their thoughts were about the founding of this country and what our country is about. I think that the feeling as you’re learning and when you get older is that you can make differences, whether it is starting a club or writing letters to congressmen. Of course, voting when you turn 18, that’s a big thing. Sometimes we think little things don’t matter at all, and sometimes they don’t. But sometimes you never know what one little thing that you do could make a difference. The congressman could get that one letter; he got a bunch of letters on one topic and because you sent another letter on that same topic, he will start to take notice. So we can do something.
Gabby: Has researching or writing this book changed you in any way?
Mr. Bowman: Yes. It has gotten me more excited about our country and more excited about young people and how good they are, how they are excited about these ideas about our country and about making things happen. That’s a positive effect of this book, as I get to know more young people.
Gabby: Are you hopeful for America?
Mr. Bowman: Yes, I am.
Kate: Are you going to write another book?
Mr. Bowman: Maybe in the future.
Kate: Is there anything you would like to add right now?
Mr. Bowman: Our nation is always good. It is you, our next generation, so we have to do all we can to be teaching you and strengthening you. That’s what it’s all about. One of the reasons we are off track—do you know the telephone game, where one person would whisper one thing into somebody’s ear, and that is delivered to the next person and it goes around and around? In the over 200 years since the Founding Fathers, with every new generation of people, it gets a little more off track from the original intention of the Constitution. People start to get their own ideas, thinking, “This is a good idea, I should change it over to this way.” Little by little we’ve gotten so off track, that we don’t even realize how off track we are, because that’s all we’ve seen. So that’s why I want to get people back to the original founding principles, so that they can see for themselves, like “Wow, the things our government is doing right now are not even close to what the founders intended.”
Kate and Gabby: Thank you very much for your time Mr. Bowman!
As An Author
David loves to use his writing and artistic abilities to TEACH YOUNG PEOPLE. Having taught at a high school level for several years, he understands the need for humor and engaging visuals if you really want to make a connection with youth. “You gotta get ‘em laughing before you can hope to instruct and inspire,” he says. David both writes AND illustrates all his own books, striving to teach values found in the scriptures and in our nation’s founding principles. He is also a popular youth speaker, speaking on various religious and patriotic topics all over the country.
DAVID BOWMAN on The CONSTITUTION
“The Bill of Rights, which came a little bit after, is extremely relevant. The Bill of Rights is the first amendments, which talk about freedom of press and religion, and all the freedoms we were allowed. In that Bill of Rights, the 10th amendment that says that all the powers that are not mentioned in the Constitution to be given to the federal government are reserved to the states only. The Bill of Rights–1st amendment and the 10th amendment–those are all extremely relevant to our lives today.”
WE THE KIDS
THANKS MR. BOWMAN
THANK YOUR FAMILY FOR US!
History, politics, government—they’re not just for grown-ups anymore. Today’s teens are about to be handed a collapsing nation and it’ll be their job to fix it. Enter David Bowman. With wit, humor, and the occasional serious note, he skillfully illustrates America’s biggest problems and presents an interactive guide to understanding them that’s so much fun adults will want to read it too!
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