I thought your opinon was pretty spot on, Andrea (regarding MMM and Polygamy). I think parents avoid talking to their kids about some of these issues because they haven't fully come to grips with it themselves. However, it's our job to talk about the tricky issues.
I got bombarded by all the stereotypical anti-Mormon stuff by one particular kid in high school. Having some idea of appropriate ways to respond, as well as knowing for myself the truth behind his misconceptions, would have helped me immensely. I mean, I knew a lot, but some stuff I was completely clueless about. Oddly enough, I never felt like I could or should talk to my parents about him. Maybe I didn't think my parents would care, or have any useful information. I wish I could remember WHY I didn't talk to them about that kid.
I'd like to have a different kind of relationship with my kids.
On to other topics:
Have you guys read any of David McCullough's books? I liked John Adams (Julia mentioned a biography), but I thought 1776 was fabulous (and easier to read).