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Book review: “The American Ideas” by An American
Usually a book isn't problematic at first glance. “The American Ideas: 13 American Originals to Know, Love & Defend” (American Books, $27.99) gave pause on the cover with the statement it was written “By An American” instead of giving the author's name.
A publisher's cover letter attributed this oddity to the author's desire not to “become a public personality.” Good grief! Promotional material noted that a presidential election is almost upon us. It didn't take long to see which candidate the book favors although no name is given.
The 13 ideas are freedom, diversity, justice, equality, dignity, opportunity, responsibility, generosity, religion, society, government, independence and peace. Each is explored fully even though some of the views can stir debate. Reading that “half the citizens pay no taxes” is an example. That is just one statement that makes the book sound somewhat like a political party platform and talking point.
One more example: “But there's never been room for slothfulness or entitlement. Until recent times, there was never a requirement that responsible people provide for others who are faking it — people who could do for themselves but just don't want to or who want more than they are willing to work for or who would simply rather drink and smoke and watch television and play videogames instead of doing anything useful.”
The sponsoring group, American Ideas, advocates limited government and low taxes, ideas which will resonate in Oklahoma, which is one of the country's most conservative statesAbraham Lincoln might put it this way: “For those who like this sort of thing, this might be the sort of thing they would like.”
— Dennie Hall