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Gratitude: Reflections on What We Owe to Our Country Hardcover – October 17, 1990

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From Library Journal

There is a growing debate in the United States as to whether the young should be encouraged or even compelled to give a year of "national service" to help the nation cope with its social problems, e.g., health care and illiteracy. While not advocating compulsory service, Buckley does argue that the young should be encouraged, through various rewards and sanctions, to give a year of service out of gratitude for civil liberties inherited and protected. While the idea seems to have merit on the surface, criticisms (cited by Buckley) that it smacks of totalitarianism, as well as the question of how this would be paid for on top of the national debt and the savings & loan crisis make the idea less attractive. An intriguing essay; recommended for academic and public libraries. For more on this topic, see Charles C. Moskos's A Call to Civic Service (Free Pr., 1988) and Richard Danzig and Peter Szanton's National Service (Lexington, 1986). Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/90--Jeffrey R. Herold, Bucyrus P.L., Ohio
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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5 1-hour cassettes --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 169 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1st edition (October 17, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394576748
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394576749
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #778,716 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Abraham Aamidor on October 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The late Wm. F. Buckley, Jr., took positions in life sometimes considered unusual for a classical conservative, such as supporting more lenient drug laws. In "Gratitude" he issued a clarion call for national service. Why? Because we owe it to the patria, the nation, and the people who built this country and sacrificed for it. In fact, it's a privilege to serve, he argues; we are only able to talk about national service because of the efforts of those who came before us. Many, but not all readers would agree with this line of reasoning. But the book has no good plan as to exactly how national service might be done. Buckley reviews some other plans, says what he likes and doesn't like about them, and that's about it. This is a book that could have been summarized in a single magazine essay.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
William F. Buckley has been the erudite conscience of American politicos for as long as I can remember. In this underpublicized book, Buckley powerfully reminds Americans of all that we should be grateful about, but simply accept as our due. Well written (no surprise to Buckley enthusiasts!!!), well reasoned and logically developed, Buckley calls us to joyful, greater service to the place we call home, because we have been so richly blessed by virtue of our birth and citizenship.
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By drmeisel on August 8, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Thoughtful, informative, and encouraging
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