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Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That Is Destroying America Paperback – August 19, 2008
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"The Best 'Worst President'" by Mark Hannah and Bob Staake
A noted political commentator and renowned New Yorker illustrator team up to give Barack Obama the victory lap he deserves. Learn more
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Cal Thomas, a conservative, writes a twice-weekly syndicated column and is a frequent panelist on Fox News Watch.
Bob Beckel, a liberal, is the Democratic political analyst for Fox News and a professor of political strategy at George Washington University.
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Top Customer Reviews
Frankly, I found the first two-thirds of "Common Ground" to be a bit tedious at times. Beckel and Thomas rehash dozens of events over the past several decades that have contributed in one way or another to increasing lack of civility and rampant partisonship that is now so prevalant in this country. The authors point to events like the confirmation hearings for Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas, the impeachment of Bill Clinton, the Iran-Contra hearings, the battle over national health insurance as well as the ongoing abortion issue as among the key reasons why politics has been poisoned in our country.Read more ›
But now politics is not just about disagreeing with the other guy, it's about trying to personally destroy him, bankrupt him with legal fees or even put him in jail. Not surprisingly, it's a bit hard to find common ground in a system like that.
If you've ever wondered how we got into this mess -- and how we can get out of it -- Cal Thomas and Bob Beckel's book "Common Ground" will tell you. First, it traces the recent history of polarization in American politics, which has become so bad it's caused people in the middle to abandon the field to radicals on both sides.
And then it urges voters to seize the opportunity of the upcoming elections to change this. What we need, the authors point out, are more "radical moderates" (my term), voters who are a) motivated to take back politics from the fanatics and b) wise enough to understand how we've been manipulated into playing a destructive game that we're not going to play any more.
Some of the books recommendations:
* Realize that today's polarization is more about just holding onto power than solving problems most voters really care about.Read more ›
The first section of the books paints the picture of just how bad things have gotten in Washington by detailing some of the extreme partisan and polarizing acts from those on both sides of the isle. The authors are also quick to share the blame with pundits and 24-hour news commentators. In doing so, the authors give names and details of all they accuse. I would suggest we avoid reading or watching everyone they mention!
The second section of the book is a brief overview of recent politics (Nixon to W.), noting where and how polarization damaged progress in each of these time periods. I found the overview to be a great brush-up of modern American politics and felt like I was receiving some good insight to our political system.
Finally the authors end with a challenge for common ground. They call for politicians who will quite acting and talking so extreme simply to rile up voters and gain large campaign contributions. The authors reveal how such polarization is simply for the gain of political power and not because much (if any) of the accusations and mudslinging in valid. The authors then paint a picture of the voting public as tired of bickering and partisan ship. They point to the 2006 "wave election" as proof the American people are fed-up with a lack of progress and will punish those who abuse the system, no matter what party.
In case you can't tell, I thought the book was great. However, I do have two major complaints.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you vote in any federal election, you should be required to read this book. I take voting very seriously and these 2 guys, who are on opposite sides of the political spectrum,... Read morePublished on June 5, 2013 by Matthew McLelland
I happened to read this just prior to the Nov. election and was heartened by the common sense approach to legislating promoted by Common Ground. Read morePublished on December 1, 2012 by Melody Ruge
You can see why the authors are friends. There is a level of respect and admiration on both ends. They may not agree on certain issues, but they both want what is good for America. Read morePublished on May 29, 2008 by Michael Poirier
I have just complete Common Ground by Cal Thomas and Bob Beckel. The authors are purported to be a conservative and a liberal. Read morePublished on December 1, 2007 by Amazon Customer
I agree with the authors that there's been too much polarization in recent American politics. Many issues facing our nation are for the most part bipartisan. Read morePublished on November 11, 2007 by Jill Malter
Good book from two who should know. Many people already know all this, now if we can only get Washington on board....good read, good thoughts, surely it is what we want.Published on November 10, 2007 by June Hertenstein