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Poorer Richard's America: What Would Ben Say? Hardcover – August 30, 2010
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"Blair, a successful entrepreneur, using the style found in Franklin's 'Poor Richard's Almanack', complete with excerpts of speeches, quotes and aphorisms ("The learned fool writes his nonsense in better language than the unlearned; but still 'tis nonsense."-1754) examines many of our national ills in a series of essays in just over 200 quick-turning pages. . . . Blair reminds us that as Americans, we have been given a great gift of Liberty. But, just because we have a few victories under our belt, our sense of exceptionalism is not preordained; with our current set of policies and personal behavior choices, our current path is outright ruinous. Blair openly and rightly questions where we got off course, but also shows us how our central and shared beliefs can help right the ship. . . . Blair's point is not to merely point out the flaws that Franklin might see in modern-day America, but he also seeks to remind us of the great promise that our form of government, as envisioned by the Founders, provides us. And, most importantly, that we still can change." ----Bearing Drift, Political Blog Network, Washington Post
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It does, as the previous reviewer notes, frequently take a less is more attitude towards government, but it is generally in the spirit that complexity begets inefficiency and inequity (this is after all in the "voice" of Ben Franklin, a man who put his considerable talents to work fighting against an overbearing government, promoting thrifty behavior, and seeking practical solutions; I am sure the Eugene Debbs version would be quite a different matter).
If you feel the need to read only books that affirm your beliefs, whatever they are, this may not be for you; but if you take it for what it is, between your cringes and nods you might find some things to think about.
If you are just looking for a delightful book, you would not go wrong in choosing this one. Blair has certainly captured Ben Franklin's voice, and whether or not you agree with all the wisdom espoused, I assure you that it is both refreshing and wonderful.
On page XIX, "Notes to the Reader," Blair, in the guise of Ben, writes, "So with your leave anticipated, I did petition one of yours to clarify and amplify those things most mystifying to me. And to assure that this missive is contemporary in terminology and speech, this kind gentleman [Ben is referring to Blair] translated and otherwise fashioned my many words to your ear, lest you laugh a confused laugh when you lay your eyes upon my writings" (p. xix).
If you are looking for sage advice about America's current situation and future possibilities, this is a thoughtful, challenging choice. Blair has not only addressed many contemporary issues (e.g., the national deficit, federal budgets, prejudice, democracy, Republicans and Democrats, taxes, the moment of conception, hardships and sacrifice, marital bliss, the Bill of Rights, foreign affairs, equal rights, health care, love and marriage, and China among others), but he gently offers reasonable, realistic solutions as well.
To give you some sense of Blair's (Ben's) writing, here is a quotation from Chapter 19, "The Written Word . . . Yesterday's Printing, Today's Media": (Remember this is Ben Franklin speaking as he observes today's media.) "Alas, as I watch your news, news reported over the airwaves to tens of millions of citizen's ears, I fear the legs of fair reporting do not always straddle an issue; at times they seem to kick it to one side or another.Read more ›
I would have much rather read the author's take on current events in his own voice with reference to Franklin's legacy.
|Length: 2:14 Mins|
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was simply wonderful. It did a great job of, in simple english, highlighting many of today's issues and putting them into perspective. Read morePublished on January 11, 2011 by ap
This book is very well written and informative. It should be required reading for all members of Congress, the President, and Supreme Court Justices. Read morePublished on November 17, 2010 by Cheri1029
I found this book to be a delightful read. Very insightful.Author is excellent.I hope that he writes more books of this naturePublished on November 10, 2010 by Bernard Nowitz