Top positive review
11 people found this helpful
This book helped me understand my own experiences.
on December 29, 1998
This book helped me to step back from personal experience, hopes and actions to review and refresh my understanding of political history in the past 100 years. The book helped me commit to becoming a better citizen/businessman working to strengthening our society. My consulting company helps implement what Dionne calls "the Progressive project", providing management, planning and communications consulting with business, government and non-profit organizations. Many of the CEOs I coach would benefit from reading this book. Dionne puts his finger on the pulse of the broad political spectrum of Americans, analyzes our hopes and helps us see our false solutions. He then helps us reaffirm our deeper commitments and shows us a nation of citizens worth trusting. I found him fair in dealing with those he clearly disagrees with and instructive when speaking about the failures of those he held out hopes for. The section "Why politicians don't get respect anymore" is a continuation of his earlier work, "Why Americans Hate Politics". I read these books in sequence over the past month and recommend that others do also. His discussion of four crises, economics, politics, morality and our understanding of America's role in the world, allows us to see their interdependence. His discussion of Clinton and Gingrich shows the pivotal role personal risks, or failure to take them, and leadership play in political history. I wish he had spent more time on them as participants in the 1960's. Readers would have gained a better appreciation of their actions in the 1990s. Neither were significant players in those days yet they have assumed responsibility for history they were peripheral players in. I would have liked to have seen more discussion of leadership development and how and why others stepped aside to make room for minor leaguers to play in the majors. The discussion of the press is very good. While I had earlier studied the development of some newspapers, I felt that this book gave me a context in which to appreciate what I had learned. I look forward to Dionne's next book. His first two helped me see that the downfall of Gingrich and Livingston and the impeachment of Clinton are natural outcomes of the process we have all participated in. I hope he and/or others put more focus on the intergation of policy, programs, budgets and personnel. Americans need greater help understanding how change is implemented. It would also help to put more focus on changes across the nation, not just in Washington DC. Dionne has done an excellent job with Washington, however. Thank you for what you have given us. I recommend this book for all citizens. It will help us participate in realigning our society. It made me revisit my political values and strengthen my commitment to a progressive agenda. I hope others are equally challenged and inspired.