Wednesday, November 30, 2011

America: The Last Best Hope

AMERICA: THE LAST BEST HOPE Vol.3 From the Collapse of Communism to the Rise of Radical Islam by William J. Bennett

This book covers the history of the United States from the years of 1988-2008. I have a problem calling it history since I remember a lot of the issues that he brings out in the book. History, it seems to me, to be what took place before you were born.

With that said, the author begins with the presidency of George H.W. Bush. The author, who was on the president’s staff, has only high regard for him. He says only positive things regarding his former boss. Like the presidents”… lasting legacy may be the maturity and self-discipline that the president exercised while in office.” And in regards to the president’s 1992 loss of election to Bill Clinton the authors says, “Great nations are too often ungrateful nations. And we Americans have a great nation. But surely, for our gratefulness and greatness, no people can expect to show their thanks every time they have an election. And in the election year of 1992 gratefulness was at a discount.”

Just as high as he was on George H.W. Bush, saying nothing really negative. He was just the opposite with Bill Clinton, not necessarily saying anything bad, but never saying anything good. A good example of this was seen in the authors failure to mention that in the presidents re-election bid he failed to mention how Bill Clinton used the presidents phrase, “read my lips” in regard to raising taxes against him.

The book moves from Bill Clinton to the presidency of George W. Bush and his fight with Iraq and terrorism. The authors writing of the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001 left me in tears. He concludes the book in praise of an American that can elect a black president in Barack Obama

A few of the problems I had with the book is the authors failure to explain some things like the Iran-Contra affair in more detail. His mentioning of it and not more explanation was like watching a movie with no end. Also, as in his praise of Bush Sr., his bias seems to show through. Also I feel this book would have been better titled a political history of the US for the years 1988-2008. Though he mentioned and touched upon some cultural issues, there was a definite lack of those issues discussed to understand the US in those years.

Overall, this was a good book, an easy and interesting read. I would now like to read the authors first 2 books of the United States history.

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