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Poorer Richard's America: What Would Ben Say? Hardcover – August 30, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing (August 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616081902
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616081904
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #769,234 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Mr. Blair skillfully weaves his own thoughts on financial excesses, national will, journalism, entertainment, generational legacies and the popular culture with the real and imagined reflections of his hero, Benjamin Franklin. . . . Tom Blair rightly asks, 'Where is our Benjamin Franklin and why aren't we listening to the original?'" ----Tom Brokaw, from the foreword

"Blair, a successful entrepreneur, using the style found in Franklin's 'Poor Richard's Almanack', complete with excerpts of speeches, quotes and aphorisms ("The learned fool writes his nonsense in better language than the unlearned; but still 'tis nonsense."-1754) examines many of our national ills in a series of essays in just over 200 quick-turning pages. . . . Blair reminds us that as Americans, we have been given a great gift of Liberty. But, just because we have a few victories under our belt, our sense of exceptionalism is not preordained; with our current set of policies and personal behavior choices, our current path is outright ruinous. Blair openly and rightly questions where we got off course, but also shows us how our central and shared beliefs can help right the ship. . . . Blair's point is not to merely point out the flaws that Franklin might see in modern-day America, but he also seeks to remind us of the great promise that our form of government, as envisioned by the Founders, provides us. And, most importantly, that we still can change." ----Bearing Drift, Political Blog Network, Washington Post

About the Author

Tom Blair was born in England during World War II. His father, an American serviceman married to a young British girl, was killed at Normandy in 1944. He has been a tremendously successful businessman, starting and going public with several companies. As a long-term Washingtonian, he has keen insights into the political process, and clearly, Blair understands Wall Street, though he does not think of himself as a driven businessman. For him, business has always been a means to finance his passions, particularly American history, economics, and aviation. He has the world’s largest personal collection of WWII British aircraft, many of which he flies. Blair has three children and fifteen grandchildren. He lives with his wife, Alice, in the Washington Metropolitan Area.

More About the Author

Tom Blair was born in England during World War II. His father, an American serviceman married to a young British girl, was killed at Normandy in 1944.

He has been a tremendously successful businessman, starting and going public with several companies. As a long-term Washingtonian, he has keen insights into the political process, and clearly, Blair understands Wall Street, though he does not think of himself as a driven businessman. For him, business has always been a means to finance his passions, particularly American history, economics, and aviation.

He has the world's largest personal collection of WWII British aircraft, many of which he flies. Blair has three children and fifteen grandchildren. He lives with his wife, Alice, in the Washington Metropolitan Area.

Customer Reviews

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I found this book to be a delightful read.
Bernard Nowitz
If you are looking for sage advice about America's current situation and future possibilities, this is a thoughtful, challenging choice.
rlweaverii
This book is very well written and informative.
Cheri1029

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By JB on September 8, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book attempts to take Ben Franklin's common sense views and apply them to the frequent nonsense that is modern America.

It does, as the previous reviewer notes, frequently take a less is more attitude towards government, but it is generally in the spirit that complexity begets inefficiency and inequity (this is after all in the "voice" of Ben Franklin, a man who put his considerable talents to work fighting against an overbearing government, promoting thrifty behavior, and seeking practical solutions; I am sure the Eugene Debbs version would be quite a different matter).

If you feel the need to read only books that affirm your beliefs, whatever they are, this may not be for you; but if you take it for what it is, between your cringes and nods you might find some things to think about.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By rlweaverii on August 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Book review by Richard L. Weaver II, Ph.D.

If you are just looking for a delightful book, you would not go wrong in choosing this one. Blair has certainly captured Ben Franklin's voice, and whether or not you agree with all the wisdom espoused, I assure you that it is both refreshing and wonderful.

On page XIX, "Notes to the Reader," Blair, in the guise of Ben, writes, "So with your leave anticipated, I did petition one of yours to clarify and amplify those things most mystifying to me. And to assure that this missive is contemporary in terminology and speech, this kind gentleman [Ben is referring to Blair] translated and otherwise fashioned my many words to your ear, lest you laugh a confused laugh when you lay your eyes upon my writings" (p. xix).

If you are looking for sage advice about America's current situation and future possibilities, this is a thoughtful, challenging choice. Blair has not only addressed many contemporary issues (e.g., the national deficit, federal budgets, prejudice, democracy, Republicans and Democrats, taxes, the moment of conception, hardships and sacrifice, marital bliss, the Bill of Rights, foreign affairs, equal rights, health care, love and marriage, and China among others), but he gently offers reasonable, realistic solutions as well.

To give you some sense of Blair's (Ben's) writing, here is a quotation from Chapter 19, "The Written Word . . . Yesterday's Printing, Today's Media": (Remember this is Ben Franklin speaking as he observes today's media.) "Alas, as I watch your news, news reported over the airwaves to tens of millions of citizen's ears, I fear the legs of fair reporting do not always straddle an issue; at times they seem to kick it to one side or another.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ken Montville on December 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had just finished a biography of Benjamin Franklin (Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson) when this book came out so I was interested to see how it would read. I was sorely disappointed. Not so much because of the author's political and economic point of view but in the writing style itself. It is meandering and, because it tries to stay faithful to what it thinks is the original writing style of Benjamin Franklin, it is difficult to read. It's as if the spirit of Benjamin Franklin floats in and out of 21st Century America the way the Ghosts of Christmas Past and Future float in and out of A Christmas Carol.

I would have much rather read the author's take on current events in his own voice with reference to Franklin's legacy.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robert Taub on October 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
In a time of corrupt and semi-literate politicians, Tom Blair recalls the greatness of Ben Franklin with excerpts from Ben himself along with thoughtful commentary from Blair. A very enjoyable read.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ap on January 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was simply wonderful. It did a great job of, in simple english, highlighting many of today's issues and putting them into perspective. This is a great book for anyone who can read, has limited political understanding, yet has a sense that something is not right in the U.S. today.
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