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Independents Day: Awakening the American Spirit Hardcover – November 6, 2007

3.8 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Author and journalist Dobbs (War on the Middle Class), best known for the snub-nosed populism of his nightly CNN news program Lou Dobbs Tonight, presents a thoughtful case against American political strategies past and present, encouraging citizens to "live every day as independent day." Pointing to the "near-epidemic levels" of "business scandals, Capitol Hill ethics violations, White House spin, and corporate layoffs," Dobbs concludes that "disregard for the will of the people" is the new status quo among the government and business elite. Contending that "our government rationalizes away the common good and our national interest," the author unfurls tales of partisanship, unfathomable plunges into debt, the ramifications of cheap labor, a stomach-lurching account of who owns what we generally regard as our public highways, and "the Pontius Pilate way the government washes its hands of involvement in those matters it has assigned to contractors." Issues range from immigration to trade policy to the poor state of public education and the celebrity takeover of news media. Dobbs' polemic is a four-alarm wake-up call meant to jar America's populace into reclaiming their values and voice; presenting a culmination of disturbing trends that may soon relegate "our national sovereignty to history's dustbin," Dobbs's troubling news will give any citizen much to ponder.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Lou Dobbs is the anchor and managing editor of CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight. He writes for Money and U.S. News & World Report and manages the Lou Dobbs Money Letter. He has received the Peabody Award, the Luminary Award by the Business Journalism Review, the Horatio Alger Association Award for Distinguished Americans, as well as an Emmy Lifetime Achievement award.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Viking; First Edition edition (November 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670018368
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670018369
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,728,547 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. M. VINE VOICE on November 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
If you've watched "Lou Dobbs Tonight" on CNN, INDEPENDENTS DAY will reinforce and complement what you've seen. Advocacy journalist (his own label) Lou Dobbs always communicates his views unfalteringly on his nightly news and information program, and his new book does likewise. It is another opportunity to use a different medium to address the crucial issues he has tirelessly sought to present to the American people. The purpose of this polemic is to inform and provide history and facts and figures as well as persuade.

Acting as a guide through pressing issues that Americans must confront as our nation approaches the 2008 presidential elections, INDEPENDENTS DAY stops short of endorsing any specific candidate -- perhaps because Dobbs sees none fit to endorse -- or of detailing remedies for the chronic failures in our system. For example, Dobbs advocates border security first and methodical national dialogue concerning the further immigration and naturalization policy; he does not advance a plan of his own for how the U.S. might justly contend with the illegal aliens currently inside our nation. Instead, he concentrates on laying bare problems:
our creaking political system
our overreaching presidency
our status as a debtor nation
our shadow government
our superpower struggles
our declining education system
our crumbling infrastructure
our drug dependencies
our religion vs. state conflicts
our corporate one-world push
our media's focus on trite matters rather than substantive ones

Dobbs makes no bones about his own antipathy toward the politicians of both parties and with the power structure slowly choking the life out of America.
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Format: Hardcover
Lou Dobbs says, "Ours is a nation in pain." For Dobbs the source of this pain and the biggest threat to the American nation is the triumph of special intersts over democracy. Illegal immigration, indiscriminate outsoucing, the decline in educational standards, the war in Iraq, and a host of other problems are, according to Dobbs, the result of elected officials who abandoned the people who elected them to serve the corporate interests who pay them.

He spends several chapters on his favorite issue, illegal immigration, but most of the book discusses other issues such as trade imbalances, the failure of the federal government to protect the public from harmful imports, the misuse of religion in American politics, the decline in education and others.

His greatest ire is reserved for the pathetic state of both political parties and how they are becoming virtually indistinguishable. He describes the parties as "brands" that are marketed to the public like consumer goods. In most cases elected officials are little more than lackeys serving the needs of the corporate special interests that packaged and marketed them. Some of his harshest criticism is aimed at the current Bush administration. In Dobbs' view the current administration has failed on all counts.

Dobbs' views on illegal immigration and globalization are often, and sometimes deliberately, misinterpreted. His true concern is for the welfare of the American people. He is a nationalist, but he is not insensitive to the plight of those who cross the borders looking for work, legal or otherwise.
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Format: Hardcover
CNN anchor Lou Dobbs is an award- winning journalist who has served as an anchor and reporter for more than thirty years. He has written a few books about economic and social concerns and Independents Day follows the same theme. The book is meant as a rallying cry by Dobbs; a summoning of all the citizens of the United States to study the important issues more closely, formulate a sensible position on the most critical problems faced by the nation, and work for change in all of these areas. Dobbs is concerned about the failed War Against Iraq. He is worried about the inability of the public schools to educate America's youth. He is concerned about substance abuse and its high cost to society. He is worried about the crumbling infrastructure. He shows a high level of anxiety over the immigrant issue and the possibility of amnesty. The issues he presents and the stands he takes will likely resonate with many voters.

Dobbs greatest concern is the lack of leadership in America and the trend away from populism over the past thirty years to a more selective political philosophy that favors one group over another. He notes the many problems that this trend has created and he blames the failures of American leaders to take the necessary initiatives to solve these and other problems. Many politicians talk the talk, but few follow through with what they say. One example of this is the concern about energy shortages and the dependence on foreign oil. Most every U.S. president has stated his concern about the need for alternative energy sources and many have spoken optimistically about their plans for the future. But none of these plans has ever taken effect and no president has demonstrated the tough leadership necessary to implement a change in energy policy.
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