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Ron Paul: A Life of Ideas Paperback – September 1, 2008
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This book gives kind of a skeletal account of all that, but it is so rife with stupid errors--misspellings, grammar mistakes, sentences that just don't make any sense, times when the author lapses into a first-person voice--as to really be a disservice to the good doctor. Besides all these elementary school writing problems, it is written in a very childish style. When discussing the political climate of Ron's childhood, for example, it is extremely and unnecessarily combative about New Deal policies, making wide and generally unfounded castigations about Roosevelt, liberalism, whatever else you want. While I disagree with FDR's policies, this stuff has no place in a quality biography of RP. When it comes to discussing RP's childhood, you get the feeling all the research they did was to interview Ron and Carol.
Another thing, for some reason the type is extremely small. I don't know why they did this.
I still would like to know more about this subject, and I believe another, better biography will come out some day, which I will certainly get. My recommendation on this book: if you want to know more about his life and the full span of his career, this book covers that moderately well. I got it and was disappointed.
The book is styled as a biography, but I would use that term loosely. Rather, it's a collection of essays. Each essay, or chapter, begins and ends with some tidbits from Ron Paul's life. But the majority of each chapter is occupied with Paul's philosophy of government and political stances on a number of issues (e.g., sound money, fiscal policy, foreign policy).
If you can make it through the book (a 200+ page read with a font size, strangely, of 9 or 10 point), you'll realize that Ron Paul is one-of-a-kind. He has a fully-formed belief system and his actions are the consistent outworking of this system. As Jon Stewart once said to Paul: "You seem to practice what you preach and you seem to preach it consistently. Even though people might disagree with the message, they can't argue that you're a man of consistent principles." (p. 190) Due to his hatred of big government, for example, Paul refused to accept federal payments when practicing medicine. (He's delivered over 4,000 babies.) He also refused to allow any of his children to take out government-funded student loans when they were going through college.
Ron Paul is a lover of freedom and thinks government exists to protect us from each other, not ourselves. And he's also an adamant supporter of the Constitution. The rule of law - not the lawless rule of politicians - is what he has been calling America back to for years now. In that respect, Paul is somewhat of a prophet.
I recommend the book if you have a strong desire to catch a broad overview of Ron Paul's political philosophy.
It's an interpretation of Ron Paul's past in light of the r3V01ution that was to come: his entire childhood and adolescence is imbued with ridiculous inevitability relative to this becoming - as if he never had one or as if it existed solely for this end! I understand Ron Paul is a reticent man - that's where a biographer's, or even a reporter's, keen and introspective questions would have begun to make this memorable man's life a memorable biography. What unique source work there is, from several interviews with members of Ron Paul's family, e.g., is left hanging, severed of its biographical potential due to lack of insightful probing.
Mostly, it's political history and explication, more or less loosely focused on Ron Paul, by a group of individuals seeking to capitalize on the Ron Paul Revolution. Unfortunately, their product went to market too hastily, severely impacting its quality as a biography. Most of the information revolves around and comes from news (that you've probably already seen, read, or heard, if you're politically involved) and basic libertarian political theory (that you're probably already familiar with, if you're interested in reading a Ron Paul biography). The 'biography' part is notably lacking. I understand Ron Paul is a politician, and some dealing with the topic is necessary; it is not sufficient, however.
In short, this is as much a biography of Ron Paul as a list of films and plays with a birthplace and sibling or two thrown in is a biography of Audrey Hepburn. Save your money or dedicate it to Ron Paul's Campaign for Liberty [...].