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109 of 133 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Overview of Very Sound Policies yet does not address opposing views, July 30, 2008
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This review is from: The Revolution: A Manifesto (Hardcover)
Ron Paul presents the most logical and non-politically driven viewpoint on all facets of government that exists among the political elite. In The Revolution: a Manifesto, Paul briefly covers many facets of his objectives including views on foreign policy, monetary policy, abortion, free trade, and an assortment of laissez-faire convictions.

This book will immediately resonate with anyone already open to Paul's views or familiar with the Austrian school of economic thought. However, in anticipation of a book intended to cause a revolution, as its title would suggest, I was disappointed that Paul's work was not written in a more convincing manner. Having read Paul's book "A Foreign Policy of Freedom" and discovering one of the most convincing compositions on the topic I have ever read, my expectations were exceedingly high for the Revolution. While Paul presents a strong case in many areas of the book, he rarely dealt with common objections that skeptics reading this book typically would put forth. Thus I do not believe this rates high enough that I could put this in the hands of a skeptic and feel confident that Paul's positions would be adequately defined in a compelling enough manner.

Areas of this book that I felt Paul could have added far more focus:

- Government's Role: Paul asserts that one of this nation's problems is people's perception that government should be "providing from cradle to grave", an outstanding point. However, Paul would have been much better served explaining why a reliance on government is not only a detriment to oneself, but also to the population as a whole, but instead chose to stand meekly on the hopes that this point would be obvious to all with no further explanation. If that were true, this nation would already look vastly different.

- Federal Reserve: Paul states the importance of the issue of not being able to audit the Federal Reserve but makes little mention of the absolutely frightening realty of having a private entity printing our money with no clear auditing process. Paul was called a "kook" and seen as "crazy" by the public on a massive scale because people did not understand his views on removing the Federal Reserve; thus more attention to this topic should have been essential to the book. The bulk of the population is unfamiliar with economics beyond basic college entry courses and does not understand how the US would avoid future depressions without having a Federal Reserve managing its money supply. These are concerns Paul should have addressed if the true intent is really to sway public opinion. Had Paul provided as convincing a case against the Fed as he did regarding the explanation of inflation, this section would have been a giant success.

- Gold Standard: Although Paul has an entire book on his views of the Gold Standard, as a topic that is widely misunderstood, Paul missed a chance to provide a much more convincing case in this particular chapter. Paul unfortunately chose not to address some of the most common objections to the Gold Standard such as gold supply and limiting aspects relative to a growing economy and population, instead choosing only to suggest it is the answer to inflation.

- US Policing the World: Paul's position of reducing US military intervention and eventual reductions of US bases and forces around the world may be logical to those with a full understanding of his views prior to reading this book; however, to the average Republican, Democrat, or even Independent reaching for this book to gauge what Paul is all about, they will still be left with questions regarding how safe we are without policing the world and what in fact the troops would be doing upon returning to the US. Paul is more than equipped to aptly address these concerns, but regrettably does not in this book.

- The Constitution: The core of all of Paul's beliefs is centered on the fact that the constitution was created to protect the people from government, not the other way around. I was astonished to find so little explanation of the critical importance of understanding this principle considering this is so central to his views and perhaps is the most prominent issue that differentiates Paul from nearly all other politicians.

One of the most attractive aspects of Ron Paul's political agenda is that he has chosen to discuss the actual validity of policies while other candidates seem stuck on discussing how to implement policies already in place. If this book accomplishes nothing else but gathering support for a discussion on the soundness of US policies, than it is indubitably a success; however, considering the strength and soundness of Paul's positions, the lack of convincing arguments in this book leaves me wondering if he missed a golden opportunity to truly affect public opinion.
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Showing 1-10 of 16 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 30, 2008 2:19:54 PM PST
you have stated your points very well and I agree with all of them. I wish he would have consulted you before print and I would encourage him to look you up for advice. I also like the fact that you do not attack him and that you support him and have only critiqued (excuse my spelling) his points. I am very biased towards Ron Paul and if he wrote a comic book I would think it was great......Now that I think of it, he should write a comic book on his issues in a way to have obama'a and mccain supporters see the light.......With no more substance that obama or maccain issued, but yet still swayed many a vote, a comic book may be in line to persuade these people to Paul's views in order to save us all. Thanks for the positive (negative) report..........

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 6, 2009 2:45:09 PM PST
TW says:
Jeff - thanks for comments.

To reiterate a point in my review, while I was not overly pleased with this book, I certainly support Ron Paul and his positions. I HIGHLY recommend reading "A Foreign Policy of Freedom" which is a collection of his speeches (and associated comments) over the years regarding foreign policy. It is a truly "eye opening" book. My review of the book can be found in the following link:

http://www.amazon.com/review/R2614CPC8M3LOC/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm

Posted on Apr 3, 2009 4:39:49 AM PDT
R. Rivera says:
Excellent review. I gave the book four stars because I liked it but it lacked something. I think you nailed it head on. I was saying as well how it's basically a good "intro to Paulitics" book. It just didn't feel like it was going to inspire any major revolution, or at least not over a short period of time, and that was really the kind of passionate treatise I was expecting. I am also a huge Paul supporter, and although Paul's points are poignant, there was a certain something missing that didn't make his convictions as convincing as they could've/should've been.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 18, 2009 7:26:55 PM PDT
Whamo says:
I respect Ron Paul. He's a straight shooter in a political world of lies and deception.

Posted on Jan 11, 2010 7:57:46 PM PST
While I agree with the reviewer as to the very valid points he makes, I actually enjoy the fact that Ron Paul keeps this "manifesto" concise, as it leaves the main points he makes open to personal research by admirers and new fans alike.

Posted on Feb 8, 2010 1:52:22 PM PST
Thats a nice review. I would define myself as Dr Paul supporter. Before I became a ineterested in Dr Paul, I used to read and re-read books on Thomas Jefferson and his principles. However I may not fully agree with the comment "book leaves me wondering if he missed a golden opportunity to truly affect public opinion".
Its difficult to write a book that serves as one stop shop for all ailments. The book conveys what is needed to inspire and read more on the subjects focused by Dr Paul. The prospects of liberating our savage souls to explore and educate. The best part of Dr Paul is his consistency in expressing views over the years. Just listen to his interviews in 1989 and 2009 on youtube. You will be surprised on how consistent and thorough his views are. I could only wish to be a wise man like him.

Posted on Feb 23, 2010 6:48:54 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Feb 23, 2010 6:49:32 PM PST]

Posted on May 25, 2011 9:13:10 PM PDT
A. Bromberg says:
This book is called 'The Revolution: A Manifesto'. By definition, a manifesto is a public declaration of the principles and intentions of the author or the ideology the author represents. With all due respect, your complaint about this book is misguided and uninformed. Your expectation that a manifesto would describe opposing ideologies is like expecting a mosh pit at a symphony (just a different form of art). With that said, I suggest you re-read the book. The book contains far more facts than opinions. With 'The Revolution' Paul has masterfully broken down the path we have taken to get where we are today as a country and why the concepts of liberty can free us all from the things we hate about government.

Your assessment of this book is certainly not shared by most. Paul explains everything in such a common sense fashion that I don't know of anyone personally who has not been completely convinced by the arguments and evidence presented in the book. According the the review numbers here on Amazon, about 97% of the people agree with my sentiment. Try giving it another shot.

In reply to an earlier post on May 26, 2011 11:25:02 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 26, 2011 11:26:42 AM PDT
TW says:
Thanks A Bromberg, I appreciate the feedback.

If Paul's intent was only to shed minimal light on some issues than I agree with your assessment, I am just not convinced that is the intent of any book with "Revolution" in the title. I am not saying I am right, just that I think it's less clear than the certainty you suggest and perhaps you are putting a little too much emphasis on semantics. Would Paul's book not have been better had it addressed the concerns I put forth in my review?

You mentioned that, "Your assessment of this book is certainly not shared by most." I'd caution you if this is the barometer you use to form any opinion. Paul himself illustrates the admirable strength of character found in forming opinions based on their own veracity instead of public opinion. How my review would be perceived or how popular my opinion is never entered my mind, it is simply my honest review of the book.

Posted on Aug 14, 2011 8:20:21 AM PDT
Jack D. says:
Here is scientific proof that cradle to grave care by government does not serve the individual. I give this example to Dr. Paul to use in his next book on the fallacy of government benevolence.

When I was in college, I helped run a rat lab. We used the rats in Skinner boxes. Psychology of Behavior modification was the course name.

We trained those rats to do back flips. Anything you could think of within the rat repertoire, which was vast, you could train them to do. All it took was getting control of what they wanted (Premack's principle).

Here is what we did for what my old professor called "motivation." When we put the little devils in their cages for the week-end on Friday evening, they got plenty of food and bedding and space. The only thing lacking was WATER!

Come Monday morning, we had some motivated rats! The Skinner boxes were fixed with switch controlled pin head sized dippers and reservoirs that just allowed the rat to taste the water. We actuated the switch when he approximated the behavior we wanted. I'll tell you what, that rat was ready to run through all his rat behaviors to get a drink! Training was accomplished!

We tested satiated rats by giving them water and food one week-end. They did nothing but sit there like big dumb overfed toads.

This my personal shinning example of why socialism does not work, especially for the one "helped."
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