Top critical review
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An Honest, yet often prejudiced, Account of America's Current State
on June 23, 2012
I received this book as a present and, not knowing a great deal about Mr. O'Reilly, began reading expecting an aggressive and unreasoned chiding of Obama and the state of the country. However, the reality of Mr. O'Reilly's writing pleasantly surprised me. It was much more moderate than expected and the arguments were clear-headed and well-reasoned. Mr. O'Reilly makes generous use of his sardonic wit and creativity to enliven the pages.
What the book has in style however, it lacks in content. While the book is nearly 220 pages long, the final 80 pages contain his opinions on figures from history and then a transcript of his interview of then-Senator Obama. The other 140 pages seem to contain equal parts analysis of the nation's politics and analysis of the politics of cable news networks; which doesn't leave room for much depth. Many large topics receive a mere glossing over when an in-depth analysis would be appreciated. In spite of all that, I was enjoying the book until I came to the section on the nation's youth.
Mr. O'Reilly sounds the oft-played trumpet that America's youth are becoming mindless, barely-literate zombies thanks to computers and cellphones. In a book filled with many respectable arguments, this came across as pandering to the elderly audience this book was obviously intended for and, as a 19 year-old who reads voraciously, is able to think critically, and uses cellphones and computers, I was offended. Studies have shown (See: Freakonomics) that television use does not affect children's test scores and every generation has had technological advancements which the youth are always faster to adopt. Claiming that an entire generation is unintelligent because we use cellphones and computers is just as bigoted as believing that the elderly are useless because they can no longer move as fast. However, this is a small section of an otherwise enjoyable book.