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The short answer is that Americans dedicate themselves to universal principles enumerated in the Declaration of Independence and other founding documents. This is, at bottom, a book on why Americans love their country. But it does not drip with star-spangled sentiment. Rather, it is almost wholly intellectual. Berns might have included more storytelling and less analysis on these pages. His narrative is occasionally character-driven--Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass make significant appearances--but Berns is primarily interested in their ideas. Making Patriots has the virtue of being both succinct and direct, and it addresses a set of thorny problems in clear language. Berns offers smart chapters on how patriotism interacts with religious devotion and racial identity, plus commentary on how patriotism is learned ("No one is born loving his country; such love is not natural, but has to be somehow taught or acquired"). Making Patriots may be read quickly, even as its insights are deep. Readers will find themselves returning to the book again and again, long after they thought they were done with it. --John J. Miller
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
You can get a pretty good idea about the actual value of a person's political ideology by analyzing his roots, or more plainly, the nature of his origins. Read morePublished on July 16, 2012 by Black_Unicorn
There are some excellent parts to this book--primarily those related to free speech and the normal trappings of America's patriotic heritage. Read morePublished on December 26, 2009 by bill greene
I found this book to be a quick read and worth my time. I wouldn't pay more than $10 for it but that's another matter. Read morePublished on November 25, 2009 by J. Carbone
This is an excellent book that explains the need for patriots. It traces the concept of patriotism from Sparta through the Founding to current times. Read morePublished on December 30, 2001 by D. Levy