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A More Perfect Union: Advancing New American Rights Hardcover – September 24, 2001
From Publishers Weekly
After coauthoring the recent Legal Lynching with his father (Forecasts, Aug. 13), Congressman Jackson takes the lead in this book written with his press secretary, laying out his moral and political vision. The first, autobiographical section serves as an introduction to his historical review of how race and states' rights have been intertwined both in theory and practice. Jackson sees "race as the lens through which to see all of American history," but economics and sectional politics are the substance. From colonial times to the present, Jackson stresses both the contradictions within Southern conservative ideology (such as Southern states-righters' insistence on federal fugitive slave laws) and its consistencies across time (small local government, low taxes, economic underdevelopment and opposition to providing broad economic opportunities for all), which have opposed progress toward a more perfect union, hitting blacks the hardest, but hitting an even larger number of poor, working-class and even middle-class whites. The contrasting struggle for broadly shared economic development, political power and personal freedom can best be advanced, Jackson argues, by adopting eight new, benchmark-setting constitutional amendments, guaranteeing rights primarily grounded in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which the U.S. has ratified. Each is treated in a separate chapter: the rights to quality health care, housing, education, a clean environment, fair taxes, full employment, equality for women and the right to vote. Though occasionally rough and repetitious, the book's breadth, boldness and candor stirringly challenge conventional political timidity.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Imagine not stumbling upon the word racism until 1936 and finding no rise of the African American experience. Preposterous. Is it not? But truth. Congressman Jackson not only reveals why we must be outraged, not in the riotous form, but further demonstrates, in this important piece how we must engage our outrage by "economic reform."
Reader do not be discouraged by the book's smallprint or numerous pages. This plethora of information only lends itself to the extensive research and detail the author and his contributor insisted upon. Welcome these pages as they are wealthy. FINALLY there exists an "inclusive textbook" which it resembles and rally for it soon to be.
The reader will delight in a discovery of previously undocumented
yet factual pieces of African-American history "as American as apple pie." Congressman Jackson Jackson exhibits how African-Americans significantly shaped America and its politics. Furthermore, he examines how each American President, past and present viewed(s)and dealt(s) with the race problem and provides the reader with deriviations of words such as Jim Crow, locates and defines for his reader new political buzz words and delves into how "A More Perfect Union" can be achieved through Equal Opportunity, Human Rights,Full Employment, Universal and Comprehensive Health Care, Affordable Housing, Quality Public Education, Fair Taxes, Foreign Policy, Politics, and Moral Responsibility. Congressman Jackson actually dissects each of the above-mentioned and provides VIABLE solutions to their achievement.
Congressman Jackson and his contributor Frank Watkins must be applauded for preaching more than just "high sounding benevolent social rhetoric" as some of his counterparts. A section of the book is semi-autobiograhical and gives the reader perspective into his personal experiences and his subsequent growth. In it he reveals his humanity and there is substantial evidence that he has not taken his political responsibility lightly.
Readers add this book to your shelf only after reading and re-reading. It must "court" your dictionary and your other reference material. This book will invite you to consult it time and time again. It is indeed reference-WORTHY. Although it is a lofty, thought-provoking, brave and maybe even an unpopular undertaking, it is brillantly and perfectly executed. As Lincoln stated "the hen is the wisest of all animal creation because she never cacles until the egg is laid". Congressman Jackson is no hen but an egg he has laid-and "A More Perfect Union" is clearly Faberge'. We recognize if we never did before, Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. as one of our most heady, intellectual statesmen of the 21st century. A must Read!!! BRAVO!!!!