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America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great Hardcover – January 4, 2012
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About the Author
Benjamin S. Carson, Sr., M.D.
Dr. Carson is an emeritus professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery, and pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. In 1984, he was named director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center from which he retired in 2013. In 2008, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Through his philanthropic foundation, the Carson Scholars Fund, he strives to maximize the intellectual potential of every child. Dr. Carson has written six best-selling books, including two New York Times Bestsellers, America the Beautiful and One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America’s Future, which became a number one New York Times bestseller. He is a syndicated columnist and a highly sought-after, inspirational, and motivational speaker.
Top Customer Reviews
When you realize Ben Carson's unique background - that he grew up in poverty as an African American in the slums of Detroit and Boston; that his single Mom wisely motivated him to read as a pathway out of poverty; that reading gave him an insatiable appetite for learning; that he has been a union member; has managed a crew picking up trash on the highway and motivated them to the highest productivity; that he graduated from Yale in psychology and U of Michigan med school; that at age 33 he was named Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins; that he has experienced virtually every economic class in our society firsthand; that he is a prostate cancer survivor, that he has traveled the world over; that he is much in demand as a public speaker - you appreciate that this is an extremely intelligent and learned commentator who has lived life and has many insights to offer.
Dr. Carson points out that many pinnacle nations including Egypt, Greece, Rome, Great Britain, France and Spain have declined. They all shared similarities; "an inordinate emphasis on sports and entertainment, a fixation with lifestyles of the rich and famous, political corruption, and the loss of a moral compass." "The question is, can we learn from the experience of those nations the preceded us and take corrective action, or must we inexorable follow the same self-destructive course?"
Dr. Carson is clearly a student of history, and much of his book traces the history and development of our nation. His thoughts about the thinking of the founding fathers are well supported with quotations. He draws fascinating parallels between the forces that led to the Boston Tea Party and the Tea Party movement today. Descriptions of his encounters with racism throughout his life, from the playground to Johns Hopkins, are revealing, and it is a testament to his education and character that he is not resentful.
He is a strong Christian, and it is revealing to read what happened when he was invited to give the keynote address at the Presidential Prayer Breakfast and was told that he should not mention the name of Jesus Christ. Early in life he dedicated himself to "achieve a first-class education in a second-class environment." He laments that "In the mid-twentieth century, however, a series of things began to happen that negatively impacted the quality of public education in the US." He devotes interesting chapters to capitalism, socialism and whether or not America is a moral nation.
In discussing racist thinking he tells of a TV interview when a reporter was asking African-Americans what they thought of Senator Obama's choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate. He offers a fascinating approach to achieving a balanced budget and his "Saudi Arabian Solution" to the problem of doctors who bill fraudulently is profound. As a physician, his creative ideas about providing health insurance for everyone merit serious consideration. His description of his political thinking journey through 60 years of life is thought provoking.
Dr. Carson believes that "the generous freedoms we enjoy as a nation enable anyone to achieve their dreams and that this perhaps the greatest thing about America." However, he warns his readers that political correctness threatens to deprive us of freedom of speech and thought. He challenges his reader to consider what we believe in and in whom do we trust before it is too late for America. A highly recommended read for all voters before the next elections.
Dr. Ben Carson grew up in poverty. His mother realized that the path out of poverty required a love of reading. She required her son to read a book per week and write a book report and hand to her. It took a few years, but eventually he discovered that his mother was illiterate and unable to read the book reports. Still, she instilled upon him a love of reading that did lead him to a better life.
Dr. Carson, as a black youth, experienced racial hatred and discrimination first hand. He reacted as anyone would; with anger and aggression. One incident he relates is attempting to use a knife on another youth. Lunging at the boy, the knife hit his belt buckle and snapped. Had the belt buckle not deflected and break the knifeblade, he might have killed the boy changing Ben's life forever a robbing us of a very talented surgeon.
Dr. Carson realizes that the path to success lies in getting a good education. The founding fathers also believed that the nation's health rested with an educated electorate. He asked the question "what are we becoming" as we get away from our basic values; reliance of education is one of those values.
Dr. Carson also believes, rightly, that physicians should be more involved with their communities in leadership roles. He points out that four of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were physicians.
Most who read the book will know that Dr. Carson is a neurosurgeon and tops in his field. He is an excellent example of what it means to be successful today for all Americans, not just black Americans.
America the Beautiful is a valuable read in a nation that seems to have lost itself.
I highly recommend.
I also enjoyed the personal stories and illustrations Dr. Carson uses to help us understand different issues.
I borrowed this book from our local library to read first, but now I am getting ready to purchase it from Amazon, to add as a valuable piece to my personal collection. I would definitely recommend this book for someone who wishes to understand more on this subject from a Christian perspective.
Excellent and clear writing.