Customer Reviews: The American Thinker: Realistic Solutions That We Need Now to Revitalize the American Dream
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on February 14, 2012
First off, the book is far overpriced for what it is. This is a self-published book that is basically thrown together with little regard for basic formatting considerations. Note, I have nothing against going the DIY way---I have self-published books also. However, the book has text on only 2/3rds of each page and is horribly formatted. At some points, the title of the next essay will be at the bottom of the page, or the paragraphs are not properly set. If this was a free book or maybe a .99 cent pamphlet, I would be much more forgiving. Note, I am taking nothing away from the passion of the author, but this book is embarrassing. When I published my own books, I took days and weeks to edit and re-edit. On one of the books, I paid a professional editor to work with my manuscript for this very reason---I KNEW it was self-published, so I didn't want it to look cheap---this book looks cheap but costs $12.99. It is a very small book, maybe 50-75 pages on really cheap paper.

The ideas are interesting, though I would not agree that the solutions are wonderful or the best for the country. The author admits that he is a columnist, so this "book" is basically a reprinting of his essays. Sadly, even that is done poorly as he printed them in reverse chronological order. Thus, at points you will read him state an opinion that he says he has already written about, but that essay has not yet appeared in the book (so, again, terrible formatting). HIs writing is bombastic and at points abrasive; I am of the opinion that part of what is wrong with our country is that people like the author like to yell, insult and criticize sarcastically. He is, of course, welcome to his opinion, and his opinion may match yours. You may even find him enlightening. For me, that kind of writing is harmful, not helpful.

It was nigh impossible in my reading to get past the sophomoric effort in formatting and presentation; when I did, I was confronted with a negative and critical viewpoint (mostly about Republicans, but also some against Democrats) which, had I known ahead of time, I would not have purchased the book.
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on April 22, 2011
This was a real surprise.

It getting very hard to find a book on politics these days that does not skew heavily towards one side or the other. I mean, really, does anyone honestly believe that Keith Olbermann's Pitchforks and Torches: The Worst of the Worst, from Beck, Bill, and Bush to Palin and Other Posturing Republicans or Sean Hannity's Conservative Victory: Defeating Obama's Radical Agenda give an accurate portrayal of the American political process, or offer legitimate solutions to the most pressing of problems facing the United States? Other than the most devout of their followers, I seriously doubt it.

Here, Joseph Cotto gives due criticism to ineffective or outlandish policies, politicians, and philosophical points of the left and right alike, though never without failing to offer constructive solutions. He runs the full gamut, from fiscal to social to national security issues, as well as offering insightful critiques of the negative impact of hyper-partisan and just plain disgusting politics on our society as a whole. Giving excruciating detail to the sourcing of his claims and opinions, one can easily see that what he writes, agree with it or not, is based in reality and principled pragmatism. Along with Bill O'Reilly's Who's Looking Out for You?, Lou Dobbs's War on the Middle Class: How the Government, Big Business, and Special Interest Groups Are Waging War on the American Dream and How to Fight Back and Independents Day: Awakening the American Spirit, I highly recommend it to anyone wishing to find a measure of sanity in the political realm.
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on June 26, 2011
As a high school graduate of Trinity Catholic & fellow colleague of Mr. Cotto, I can personally vouch for his admirable level of intellect and outstanding drive for excellence. He is a true visionary in this modern world! Clear and straight to the point, in this "take no prisoners" work of art, Joseph sets the bold tone to convey what he sees fit as the real, straight and narrow truth about bureaucracy and what must be done within our government to revive our dream, the AMERICAN DREAM!

Anyone who has an open mind to new suggestion should definitely fancy this book a gander.

Best of luck to you my friend, Cheers!
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on March 21, 2012
This book is apparently a collection of Mr. Cotto's blog meanderings. Without rhyme or reason, he veers from reforming the Federal tax code to "Mending America's Broken Healthcare System" in 300-word mini-rants.

Hint: Our broken health care system, according to this genius, is due to "generational poverty" and will persist "so long as the working (or increasingly non-working) poor comprise a large share of our population." His answer? "They (the poor, working or no) must be slowly but surely introduced to capitalism, and the work ethic associated with it."

In other words, "Get a (better) job."

Mr. Cotto, ever the pedant, concludes, "Though this certainly would not turn Camden into Candyland, it would be a sold (sic) start."

Huh? This book is full of such head-scratchers. And although the author claims as his mantle "thinker" and "realist," I suggest he is neither, and this book consists of little more than the musings of a right-wing, mediocre mind. After all, his only bona fide is his service as "an accredited reporter" at Wikinews.
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