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The True Patriot Hardcover – December 18, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 136 pages
  • Publisher: Sasquatch Books (December 18, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570615578
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570615573
  • Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 0.5 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #507,384 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Eric Liu’s Guiding Lights was picked as a Reader’s Digest Editor’s Pick in 2005, and was described as "inspiring." "The True Patriot makes a powerful argument that our heritage as a great nation is a progressive heritage, and it shows what each one of

About the Author

Eric Liu teaches at the University of Washington's Evans School of Public Affairs. Nick Hanauer cofounded the League of Education Voters in Washington State. Both live in Seattle.

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Customer Reviews

The book is a quick read, and incredibly well researched.
Brad Aronson
If you have been looking for a way to rekindle the excitement of being a citizen in the greatest political experiment going, "The True Patriot" is it.
Dave McShea
This book should be in every high school civics class; I recommend it for anyone who cares about the past and the future of this country.
Valerie Tarico

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Dave McShea on January 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Every so often a book comes along that changes the way we look at the world, Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring", or Richard Dawkins' "The Selfish Gene." Now Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer have written a book that changes the way that we, Americans, look at ourselves. How do they do this? By pushing aside the convenient stereotypes of modern media, asking Americans what it really means to be a Patriot, and revealing it to be this: to be what Americans fundamentally are -- pragmatists with the courage to stand on principle, people with the energy and optimism to improve self and society, and people who love freedom because it enables us to improve our lot in life but also to improve our life allot -- by serving and contributing to family, community and country.

These concepts are not presented as a sleepy civics lesson -- in the hands of Liu and Hanauer they are downright exhilarating. They show that to be American is to participate in one of the greatest experiments of all time, one that is still relatively new for history's laboratory. To help us appreciate this, the authors intersperse throughout the book speeches of great Americans that show us where we have come from, from Thomas Jefferson's inaugural address, to Teddy Roosevelt's call to "The Strenuous Life", to Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1963 Speech on the March on Washington. These serve as touchstones to remind us of the core principles that have always been at the heart of the American Dream - freedom with responsibility; opportunity with personal initiative; purpose through sacrifice and service; community; contribution; stewardship; leadership and pragmatism. Working from these bedrock concepts, the authors then explain a ten-principle plan for a progressive Patriotism.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By M. Lerner on September 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The True Patriot transcends partisan politics and reminds us what it means to be an American. The book respectfully and insightfully discusses where both progressives and conservatives have gone right and wrong. The book is packed with incredible one liners, a unique selection of historic American speeches by great leaders of the past, and a ten principle plan that I hope all politicians will adopt. Most importantly, this book asks the reader tough questions about what patriotism means to them. America has been polarized by ideologues posing as politicians--this book shows us a new way forward that's firmly rooted in the best traditions of our past. Just in time for the 2008 election!
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Valerie Tarico on January 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I love this little book and have been enthusiastically handing it to others since I first got a copy.

Traditional American values have been seriously corrupted! They have been corrupted by the right as well as the left, the religious as well as those who are not. Pop culture idolizes greed and selfishness: Paris Hilton, "prosperity gospel," and a nail salon on every corner. These same anti-values masquerade as social policy--American cowboys riding out of our corrals and trampling anyone in our way, including each other.

With powerful, visual language and quotations from great American leaders of the past, The True Patriot articulates a moral framework based on the ideals that founded this country. Liu and Hanauer argue that by definition patriotism is allegiance to a group effort, that patriotism seeks to serve something greater than any one of us. It acknowledges our debt "There's no such thing as a self-made man" and our responsibility "to measure a citizen's worth by contribution to country and community, not by wealth or power."

This book isn't perfect for me. As someone who has travelled extensively, I cringe at phrases like, "No other nation prides itself on being the world's laboratory, demonstrating what happens by when you intermingle the peoples of the earth." In their call for us to rally us around the great American dream, Liu and Hanauer brush aside the dreams from which ours emerged, the dreams of peoples outside our national boundry, and the crucially humbling consciousness of how at times we have violated our own deepest values.

But part of the beauty of their message is simplicity.
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26 of 32 people found the following review helpful By R. Barton on January 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Even if you just read it for the great historical speeches, True Patriot is a winner. Full disclosure, I know the authors, but I can honestly say this "pamphlet" reminds me why I AM proud to be an American, an emotion that has been hard to muster these last several years. It also reminds me that shared sacrifice and responsibilty to community and country needs to re-enter the political discourse. Capitalism seems to have evolved into "get as much as you can for yourself while the gettin's good", and has forgotten that the foundation of capitalism and free markets is community.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Brad Aronson on January 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The True Patriot is an excellent read and quite timely given the election season and accompanying rhetoric. It's a book that describes our responsibility as citizen participants in a democracy and talks about what it really means to be patriotic. There is interesting discussion about how to move from divisive politics to something that is embracing, based on a set of ethical guiding principles and includes service to the community.

The book is a quick read, and incredibly well researched. This includes snippets of inspiring speeches from past leaders in our country that demonstrate the principles on which the US was founded and to which we must return. This is a great book for generating discussion and making readers really think about what it means to be a US citizen. Hopefully, our political leaders are studying this work closely.
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