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Accountable: Making America As Good As Its Promise Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged

3.8 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews
Book 3 of 3 in the Covenant Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Bestselling author and television host Smiley picks up where he left off in his previous book to offer a critical look at the problems facing America and to grade the government (and society at large) on its efforts to substantively confront them. Ever the consummate professional, Smiley delivers his message of hope and promise with a commanding tone that demands his audience's attention. His candid and polished reading gives his political messages an arresting personal touch. An Atria paperback. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Tavis Smiley is a nationally known intellectual, activist, political commentator, entrepreneur, and radio and television personality.  He founded the ground-breaking and historic State of the Black Union series.  Mr. Smiley has authored several best-selling books, including The Covenant and The Covenant in Action.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio; Unabridged edition (February 17, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074358208X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743582087
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 5.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,483,124 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book is apparently the third in a series. The first two, Covenant with Black America and The Covenant in Action were aimed at the African-American community (of which I am not a member). This third--and final?--in the series is aimed at a larger audience, I'm assuming because we now have an African-American president who is accountable to all of us. The book tells real-life stories in areas of concern like health care, education, the economy, etc.; sets out various possible solutions; then provides a checklist for how each player--including we individuals--can be held accountable.

I didn't take much away from this book, but to be fair, it had a lot to do with the timing of my reading. First, in the midst of this severe economic downturn, tragic tales like people losing their medical insurance elicited not my usual empathy, but a panicking fear about my own situation. Second, I didn't see any of the authors' solutions being particularly workable, and third, the list of things individuals could do were pretty much the same as they've always been--call your Congressman, vote, get involved. Nice when you are talking about saving the park down the street from development, but paltry in light of the issues we face today.

At another time I may well have appreciated this book. Reading it now I simply found it depressing.Accountable: Making America as Good as Its Promise
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As a Political Science professor, I was extremely interested in the 3rd installment of the landmark 2006 work of COVENANT WITH BLACK AMERICA. Having read all three books and knowing the fundamentals of government, I recognize the importance and urgency of holding the elected officials accountable for the promises they make. The book is well organized - laying out the issues one by one while providing simple solutions. Smiley also offers ideas on how citizens can effectively hold governmental officials accountable.

Now realize that this book isn't the be all end all in solutions but it does serve as an effective starting point for the average citizen. And believe me when I say, that the "average citizen" isn't familiar with the basic history surrounding these common place issues - health care; education; justice; economy; environment, energy & infrastructure; and democracy. The last chapter confronts the promises made during the presidential election cycle - presenting the promise, possible solutions and accountability factors. The notes provided in the back of the book will assist in further investigation of the issues allowing educated citizens to come up with their conclusions. While this book doesn't supply many new ideas or solutions it does give everyday citizens something to think about. Read it and see what it inspires you to discuss - so far I believe it's working.

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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This would be a good beginner's guide to American politics, especially for younger people just getting interested in current affairs. Tavis Smiley explains the political system in a fundamental and simple manner, using the Obama administration as his inspiration/medium. However, if you are someone who follows politics and/or current affairs normally and already have a fairly good understanding of how the political system is designed to work then this reads a little obvious. If you're looking for a deeper perspective on american politics and/or the inner workings of Washington or the Obama Administration, probably better to pass.
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Format: Hardcover
Accountable, the third book in a series designed to help citizens understand their role in the political system, hits the nail on the head with several key issues. The book brings up several of the most important issues in America today: Health Care, Education, The Unequal Justice System, The Economy, The Environment and Energy, Democracy and how we can keep election fraud from happening again. The book not only points out what is wrong or right with these systems, it offers solutions. So many books offer no solutions to the problems they present. This one does, and each chapter ends with a checklist of things that we as citizens can do to help correct these situations. Every American should read this book and get involved, even if only a small level.

The book also ends with a lengthy list of quotes that Obama has made pertaining to each of the above mentioned chapters. At the end of the list of quotes is a checklist where we can keep record of how many of his election promises he has fulfilled.

Some of the stories in this book are surprising. People dumped from their health care plans.. the list of disenfranchised felons by state is disheartening. The chapter on rigged elections and gerrymandering will likely be an eye opener for some even if it seems like old news to others. This book will give you a look at the real America, and hopefully it will help us, citizens and government alike, to fix it.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Accountable, published shortly after the inauguration of Pres. Obama, flows from a common but flawed premise in the aftermath of an election that changes the status quo. Specifically, the authors presumed (not unreasonably, given the outcome of the 2008 election), that a new President elected with a substantial mandate and provided with a Democratic majority in both houses of Congress, should be able to enact a laundry list of legislation to address a heavy agenda of social ills. I think the last time this actually worked was the 1964 election, where LBJ utilized exceptional savvy from his decades of trench work as a congressional leader, to get a broad agenda enacted in the wake of the tragic assassination of JFK. That batch of lawmaking had mixed results. The civil rights laws finally achieved much of the promise intended by the laws and constitutional amendments enacted after the Civil War. The public housing intended (by proponents) to eradicate horrid slum housing conditions, carried with it so much unintended baggage in concentrating some of the worst poverty, drug and street gang violence problems, that wide swaths of public housing have been demolished in major cities, with no intent of rebuilding anything similar. The saying "be careful what you wish for" seems appropriate here.

Such substantial sea change can give false impressions that the country itself has changed immeasurably. The authors of Accountable structure the book as a sort of elaborate checklist on what should be done promptly, lest the new president be deemed deficient for failing to achieve an agenda deemed necessary and achievable by the authors. The years since publication have shown to the dismay of some and delight of others, that it just isn't as easy as all that.
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