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Be the People: A Call to Reclaim America's Faith and Promise Hardcover – June 6, 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (June 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0849948282
  • ISBN-13: 978-0849948282
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,289,175 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Carol M. Swain, PhD, is widely recognized as an authority on political science, law, race, and immigration. She has provided expert commentary about some of today's most complex issues, appearing on top national radio and television programs. Currently professor of both political science and law at Vanderbilt University, she is also a member of the James Madison Society at Princeton University, where she was a tenured professor.

Customer Reviews

I had another opportunity to read and review a book through Book Sneeze.
Twin Momma
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program.
Sheri Newton
I found Dr. Swain's book to be well written and relatively easy to read... persuasive, articulate and engaging.
Chris Vonada

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Diane Woerner on June 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Carol Swain has put feet to her faith in writing this book, disregarding the backlash that such transparency will certainly invoke. With careful precision she has gathered the big facts--about Christianity, about America's foundation, about modern-day governmental and cultural forces, about the disposition of the American people--and offers them with a calm urgency for our consideration.

Underneath it all is her central question: "Does the God of the broken American covenant still judge nations?" Those of us who call ourselves Christians and presume to ask for God's blessing must never forget that His ability to bless a nation is integrally tied to His ability also to curse that same nation.

Carol writes:

"The cold winds of change sweeping through Washington, D.C., and our nation are damning evidence that even though we say we believe in God, we live like atheists. We consider God to be either nonexistent or irrelevant--and certainly not in the business of distributing rewards and punishments. The solemn vows of faith that once impelled our leaders to bravery and provided the solid principles upon which our country was founded have been broken and abandoned to the winds. The virtues produced by faith in God have been banished from our borders."
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Kara Swanson on June 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Carol M. Swain is a distinguished public intellectual and college professor. She believes that America is headed in the wrong direction. Her views are not politically correct. In fact, they are polarizing, and potentially offensive to many.

That's what I liked about this book. ;)

Using copious examples from literature, history and political science, Swain makes a compelling case that America is on the wrong track because we have lost our common moral compass -- a Judeo-Christian heritage that once permeated nearly every aspect of civil society.

She discusses how this loss of common moral convictions has influenced public policy issues ranging from immigration, racism, and family matters. She is critical of the Obama adminstration, but makes her case in a way that is respectful. Swain makes no apologies for her views. She clearly and carefully articulates a conservative Christian worldview, and suggests how readers can take action in areas of particular interest to them.

Dr. Swain offers a unique perspective. She is an African-American woman who rose from poverty to earn several graduate degrees. She has experienced divorce twice, was a single mother, and the first in her family to attend college. She is a highly respected academic and public intellectual. The preface to the book includes praise from a wide variety of public figures ranging from journalists and senators to pastors and musicians.

If you are a conservative Christian, politically and socially, or want to understand what motivates conservative Christians, I highly recommend this book.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Steven Ruff on June 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Whether everyone acknowledges it or not, our country was founded upon the morals and principles of the Judeo-Christian faith. This clear conviction is obvious in the attitudes an writings of our founding fathers. Over time however, there has been a foundational shift to the left. In her new book, "Be The People; A Call to Reclaim America's Faith and Promise", political science professor and conservative Christian Carol Swain paints a vivid, realistic, and at times frightening portrait of the current moral climate in the United States.

Dr. Swain begins her book by showing the reader what the foundations of this country were (truth, justice, value of life, pursuit of freedom). She then systematically shows how our government and modern culture have been eroding the Christian values of the founding fathers through choices that moved us away from God. Swain tackles many of the hotbed issues in politics today (family values, feminism, racism, abortion, and immigration). In doing so, she shows how a loss of our moral compass has influenced public policy.

"Be The People" is a tough read. The writing style is not tough. Swain has written with an engaging and inspirational style. The tough part is the content. This book is well-researched and the author has brilliantly made her case that America needs a redirection. The material that she has included evokes feelings of sadness and anger (at least it did in me). I like many things about this book. The perspective of the author is real. Swain writes from the perspective of an African-American Christian female growing up in poverty, twice divorced, now a college graduate teaching in one of the country's most prestigious universities. All of this together gives her credibility. This book is not a "list of complaints".
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By R. Christensen on January 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Be the People is a powerful call to action to the "78 percent of Americans who profess a belief in the Judeo-Christian God" to Wake Up! It's also a thoughtful series of constructive directions for public policy to enhance the quest for greater truthfulness and justice in modern society in areas as diverse and controversial as the family, immigration, national soverignty, race, racism and racial politics. This is one very bold woman! She tackles all of the tough issues with compassion and clarity based in a deeply Biblical worldview.

A well-researched book with tons of references, it is both easy and compelling to read. I personally was shocked and convicted while reading her analysis of Broken Vows - how as a nation we are forsaking what we once knew - and what she sees as almost the natural consequences of a nation turning against God. She writes of the Puritan belief in America as a covenant nation and how that led to the imperialistic Manifest Destiny notion. She asks "Is there still a God who judges nations?" - and, shockingly, answers not only "Yes" but that (just maybe) the Jihad attacks of 9/11 were aspects of God's judgement. Just as shockingly, she quotes Keith Richburg of the Washington Post, standing on a bridge in Somalia, watching corpses float by, and thanking God that his ancestors were lucky enough to be captured by a slave trader, to endure the horrific voyage and decades of slavery, so that he might now be standing on the bridge rather than floating under it. Being a Black American is a blessing as compared to living in Somalia (that probably doesn't go over very well in the faculty lounge).
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More About the Author

From high school dropout and teenage mother to esteemed Vanderbilt University law professor, Carol M. Swain is passionate about empowering others to confidently raise their conservative voices in the public square. Dr. Swain's education and experiences make her a credible and powerful force for change in today's social and political climate where conservatives are intimidated to champion an often-unpopular message.

Carol Swain's own courageous voice for conservative causes is expressed among a variety of popular media. She's a frequent guest on Hannity's: Great American Panel on Fox News and appeared regularly on CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight.

She has also appeared on BBC Radio, NPR, CNN's AC360 (with Anderson Cooper), Fox News Live, PBS's NewsHour (with Jim Lehrer), C-SPAN's Washington Journal, and ABC's Headline News.

Dr. Swain's published works have achieved many accolades. Her highly acclaimed book, Black Faces, Black Interests: The Representation of African Americans in Congress, has received numerous awards, including:

One of seven Outstanding Academic Books of 1994 by Choice (American Library Association)

Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award in 1994 (sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation at Princeton University for the best book published on government, politics or international affairs)

D.B. Hardeman Prize for best book focused on U.S. Congress during 1994-1995
V.O. Key Award (co-recipient) for an outstanding book on southern politics

Black Faces was cited by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in Johnson v. DeGrandy (1994) and by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor in Georgia V. Ashcroft (2003).

Debating Immigration, a collection of 18 essays by Swain and other scholars, explores the nuances of contemporary immigration and citizenship in the U.S. and Europe. She has also written and co-authored books on race relations and white nationalism. She is currently working on a new book titled Broken Vows, Banished Virtues: Reclaiming America's Promise.

Her opinion pieces have been published online at The Huffington Post and in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, and USA Today.

A widely recognized expert on race relations, immigration, black leadership and evangelical politics, Carol Swain is a member of the Tennessee Advisory Committee to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission and serves on the advisory board of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Before joining Vanderbilt in 1999, Dr. Swain was a tenured associate professor of politics and public policy at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. She is a foundation member of the Virginia Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.

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Be the People: A Call to Reclaim America's Faith and Promise
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