Wednesday, June 8

Be the People by Carol M. Swain

"A Call to Reclaim America’s Faith and Promise"

What is America’s future?  Is the country moving on the right path, or the wrong path?  How do we get on the right path?  If you were to ask random people these questions, you’d probably get an equal number of random answers, some more similar than others.  The answers to these questions differ even more wildly if you were to ask conservatives, moderates, and liberals their views.  When it comes to politics, it seems that everyone thinks they are right and that those that disagree are not only wrong but potentially dangerous and are trying to destroy this country.  Really makes you want to run for a political office, doesn’t it?

In Be the People, Carol Swain, author, expert on race relations and immigration, and self described conservative, offers her take on America’s situation and proposes ideas on a path America should take.

She starts her book with a look into America’s past, especially the religious element.  She examines the founding fathers’ association with religion as well as analyzing any religious/religiously inspired elements in the United States Constitution and Declaration of Independence.

From there she dives into a look at many of issues facing America today, choosing to focus what are more often thought of as moral matters, such as abortion, “family matters,” immigration, and Racism.  At the end she includes several appendixes which contain the Ten Commandments, the Declaration of Independence, The Bill of Rights, and The Constitution of the United States of America.

Swain takes more of a scholarly look into her views and has done fairly extensive research into the topics, though she also makes room for personal reflection.  She made both her position and the reasoning for her position clear.  She also made clear why she thought her opponents are wrong.

I liked the honesty with which Swain wrote, and the approach she took.  She often does present a look into issues in a way that may not be widely done.   The writing is strong and the research seems solid.  I did have some issues with how she approached opposing viewpoints: at times it seems she takes the approach of most political writers (of both parties) and at times seems to imply that Liberals are intentionally trying to do harm to the U.S.  Writing a political book has got to be tough, but since one of her goals seems to be presenting a path for America to follow I wish she would’ve included her thoughts on how the political parties could reconcile themselves to one another despite their differences.

Those who lean conservatives are sure to love this book, especially those who consider themselves Evangelical Christians.  On the flip side, those who lean Liberal are probably going to disagree with just about everything she says.

Conservatives who may be not be fully certain of their position on certain issues may find this book helpful in understanding some of the situations more.  It is also a book liberals may find interesting, especially if they wish to engage with opposing viewpoints.

Trying to figure out a recommendation/rating for a politically charged book is difficult. 

Is this a book worth reading?  Perhaps.  I do ask one thing, if you decide to debate ideas which are contrary to yours, whether found in this book or elsewhere, please do not resort to the mindless bashing which occurs in practically every internet forum available.

3/5 stars

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

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