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784 of 832 people found the following review helpful
on February 13, 2012
America the Beautiful - Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great - Ben Carson, MD

When you realize Ben Carson's unique background - that he grew up in poverty as an African American in the slums of Detroit and Boston; that his single Mom wisely motivated him to read as a pathway out of poverty; that reading gave him an insatiable appetite for learning; that he has been a union member; has managed a crew picking up trash on the highway and motivated them to the highest productivity; that he graduated from Yale in psychology and U of Michigan med school; that at age 33 he was named Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins; that he has experienced virtually every economic class in our society firsthand; that he is a prostate cancer survivor, that he has traveled the world over; that he is much in demand as a public speaker - you appreciate that this is an extremely intelligent and learned commentator who has lived life and has many insights to offer.

Dr. Carson points out that many pinnacle nations including Egypt, Greece, Rome, Great Britain, France and Spain have declined. They all shared similarities; "an inordinate emphasis on sports and entertainment, a fixation with lifestyles of the rich and famous, political corruption, and the loss of a moral compass." "The question is, can we learn from the experience of those nations the preceded us and take corrective action, or must we inexorable follow the same self-destructive course?"

Dr. Carson is clearly a student of history, and much of his book traces the history and development of our nation. His thoughts about the thinking of the founding fathers are well supported with quotations. He draws fascinating parallels between the forces that led to the Boston Tea Party and the Tea Party movement today. Descriptions of his encounters with racism throughout his life, from the playground to Johns Hopkins, are revealing, and it is a testament to his education and character that he is not resentful.
He is a strong Christian, and it is revealing to read what happened when he was invited to give the keynote address at the Presidential Prayer Breakfast and was told that he should not mention the name of Jesus Christ. Early in life he dedicated himself to "achieve a first-class education in a second-class environment." He laments that "In the mid-twentieth century, however, a series of things began to happen that negatively impacted the quality of public education in the US." He devotes interesting chapters to capitalism, socialism and whether or not America is a moral nation.

In discussing racist thinking he tells of a TV interview when a reporter was asking African-Americans what they thought of Senator Obama's choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate. He offers a fascinating approach to achieving a balanced budget and his "Saudi Arabian Solution" to the problem of doctors who bill fraudulently is profound. As a physician, his creative ideas about providing health insurance for everyone merit serious consideration. His description of his political thinking journey through 60 years of life is thought provoking.

Dr. Carson believes that "the generous freedoms we enjoy as a nation enable anyone to achieve their dreams and that this perhaps the greatest thing about America." However, he warns his readers that political correctness threatens to deprive us of freedom of speech and thought. He challenges his reader to consider what we believe in and in whom do we trust before it is too late for America. A highly recommended read for all voters before the next elections.
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289 of 326 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2012
I was very impressed with Dr. Carson's knowledge of American history and the current political situation of the United States. It is very sad to see Americans deviate from the principles that made our country great and I'm glad that there are people, like Dr. Carson, who actually care
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195 of 219 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon February 16, 2012
Dr. Ben Carson's America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made this Country Great is perhaps one of the most significant books published in many years. It is certainly the most profound book I've read this year.

Dr. Ben Carson grew up in poverty. His mother realized that the path out of poverty required a love of reading. She required her son to read a book per week and write a book report and hand to her. It took a few years, but eventually he discovered that his mother was illiterate and unable to read the book reports. Still, she instilled upon him a love of reading that did lead him to a better life.

Dr. Carson, as a black youth, experienced racial hatred and discrimination first hand. He reacted as anyone would; with anger and aggression. One incident he relates is attempting to use a knife on another youth. Lunging at the boy, the knife hit his belt buckle and snapped. Had the belt buckle not deflected and break the knifeblade, he might have killed the boy changing Ben's life forever a robbing us of a very talented surgeon.

Dr. Carson realizes that the path to success lies in getting a good education. The founding fathers also believed that the nation's health rested with an educated electorate. He asked the question "what are we becoming" as we get away from our basic values; reliance of education is one of those values.

Dr. Carson also believes, rightly, that physicians should be more involved with their communities in leadership roles. He points out that four of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were physicians.

Most who read the book will know that Dr. Carson is a neurosurgeon and tops in his field. He is an excellent example of what it means to be successful today for all Americans, not just black Americans.

America the Beautiful is a valuable read in a nation that seems to have lost itself.

I highly recommend.
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107 of 120 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2012
I still have a couple chapters left to read, but find this book a great resource for not only understanding the foundation of what made America great, but understanding the different components of our government and American way of life. Some have said that they don't want boring history, but I for one am thankful for all the historical references and quotes from our founding fathers, as it really helps us understand what their intentions were when formulating the American democracy. As for his qualifications in writing such a book, Dr. Carson mentions numerous times that key "fathers" were also physicians and that their intentions were that more of a variety of professionals would be involved in government, rather than lawyers and politicians. And his logical perspective certainly makes sense.

I also enjoyed the personal stories and illustrations Dr. Carson uses to help us understand different issues.

I borrowed this book from our local library to read first, but now I am getting ready to purchase it from Amazon, to add as a valuable piece to my personal collection. I would definitely recommend this book for someone who wishes to understand more on this subject from a Christian perspective.
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55 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2013
If only our 'leaders' would realize that it's about serving all the people - NOT about acquiring more power for themselves and longevity in their elected positions. Dr. Carson's logic would serve all of us well - not only in government but in our personal lives and businesses.
Excellent and clear writing.
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72 of 82 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2012
I mostly read books related to the ongoing conspiracy for a New World Order, but this book is a relaxing, up-lifting read about the United States and our history. You won't open the covers on a better, more inspiring work.
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61 of 69 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2013
I recommend this product to anyone who believes in the Who and the what that made this nation great!!!

It is filled with insight and historical facts and certainly examines the systems in place today and in the past...the results before, now and what we can expect in the future...based on our own actions.
Thanks to Ben Carson, we have a concrete book to share about a transformed American life from a single parent home in poverty to a world renowned brain surgeon. What a gift to America Ben Carson is!
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51 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2012
This book is a must read for teens and adults. Dr. Carson really puts things in perspective regarding what made America a great nation and what must be done to get it back to its greatness. I think he should run for president. He would be a staunch contrast to the current President.
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119 of 149 people found the following review helpful
on March 3, 2013
I love seeing Dr. Carson on talk shows and hearing his speeches. I love how he isn't afraid to tell it like it is and doesn't care who is listening. I had high hopes for this book. While much of it is fine, some of it is a little mixed up. On one hand he believes in the Constitution and Capitalism, but on the other hand there are parts of socialism he'd like the see incorporated into America. I found that to be very conflicting. Especially his idea of subsidizing medical students' tuition because medical school costs are too high. Instead of letting the college bubble burst and let prices level out to where they should be, his solution, under the Socialism chapter, is for the country to cover the costs of medical school instead. Hmmm. I do understand his point and appreciate that he's looking at it from his career perspective, but I don't agree that the government churning out medical professionals is the way to go in America. There were other aspects of the book, too, that confounded me, when the majority of his message is so clearly free market. His love of Jesus and the Bible is inspiring, as is his life story. The book is just ok in my opinion, and libertarians in particular might like to be warned that his information could get their panties in a bunch.
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2013
I have been thinking about Ben Carson a great deal lately and hoping to hear his voice in our country as feel it is needed so very much. I met and heard him speak several years ago and had the privilege of shaking his "Gifted Hand"! From then on have been a faithful fan and hoping fervently that he might come forth when we need his sage advice so desperately in this country today. My wish was answered in this important book which I hope will be read by all who love and respect our unique and wonderful USA! I claim this the "most needed" book of the year!!! Thank you, Ben Carson, for all the lives you have saved in your medical practice, and now for helping your country as well!!!
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