Sunday, July 25, 2004


I think it is about time I got back into reading some good literature. I'm afraid my reading material, while helpful and interesting, is not exactly heavy on the classics. At least I can say I am getting some books behind me--which is more than I have been able to say at other times.

The last one I finished was a book by Dinesh D'Souza, a first generation Indian immigrant. The title is What's So Great About America. That's right, there is no question mark on the end of the title, so that gives you an idea of where he goes in his conclusion. Even if you know where he is going, though, that does nothing to prepare you for the ride getting there! This is a powerful book. His points are viciously clear, thoroughly researched and so objective that I'm sure he makes both liberals and conservatives wince at times.

D'Souza covers a lot of ground. He begins by taking an objective look at the three main enemies of America and/or western culture and then takes us on a revealing journey which shows why they hate us so much. We also learn about issues such as colonialism, slavery, the reparations fallacy, virtue verses freedom, and Rousseau verses St. Augustine.

This book is full of gems like this:

The American Founders knew they could not transform human nature, so they devised a system that would thwart the schemes of the wicked and channel the energies of flawed persons toward the public good. (pg 93)
Instead of completely denying the value of expressive freedom, conservatives would do better to embrace it--at least in part--and to focus on educating people about the rich moral sources of freedom, and about how to use freedom well. (pg 159)
America is the greatest, freest, and most decent society in existence. It is an oasis of goodness in a desert of cynicism and barbarism. This country, once an experiment unique to the world, is now the last best hope for the world. (pg 193)

Needless to say, I was really impressed and never had a bit of trouble staying interested. This is not a political book. It is simply a book about America and what America means.

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