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A reminder of the best qualities of America
, May 15, 2008
This review is from: Moyers on Democracy (Hardcover)
One of the great qualities of America is its conscience, sometimes known as that quiet but reasoned internal voice which arises when one is otherwise having a great time.
Moyers is an eloquent voice of that conscience, a clear and positive contrast to narcissist negative nagging typified by Rush Limbaugh. Nags are always pessimistic; conscience encourges one to be better. In the best of times, as in the worst of times, Americans share an optimism they can improve themselves and their society.
Nags have a purpose, if you like "boss others around" attitudes.
Conscience is a small quiet voice of personal responsibility, challenge and constructive incentives. America is a land of boundless excess; after the ruin of the Civil War, it took only 40 years to become the world's richest and most powerful nation. Andrew Carnegie typified the success of excess; he created a dynamic modern steel industry, then the world's finest public library system.
Moyers made his early contributions in politics. Instead of acquiring a personal fortune, he became a founder of the Peace Corps, one of the lasting elements of American compassion. He then turned to "the library function", providing people with information.
Unlike the compulsive nature of moral nags, no one is forced to read a book and no one is forced to listen to Moyers. Instead, the strength of both is intelligent acceptance by the community. Don't be put off by the cover photo of Moyers; he looks like a nag, but he reads like an inspiration.
This book offers some of the best of Moyers over the past 20 years. It is a collection of gems to remind us the best qualities of America are not the politics of bitterness, the greed of selfishness or the pessimism of dismal doom.
Would America be better without Limbaugh? Perhaps not.
It is better because of Moyers. The greatness of America is its diversity of ideas. Moyers offers some of the best, and this book is a reminder of the success of decency in a world that sometimes seems to be utterly mad, selfish and foolish.
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