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The Spirit of Resistance (Jefferson's Road) (Volume 1) Paperback – December 30, 2014
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Thoughtful, yes. Also terrifying at a subconscious level. This is one you can't pre-judge.
The author took his ballistics the easy way, discarding the more subtle elements such as windage and instead concentrating on keeping it easily understood by non-experts. His description of what happens when a .50 caliber round hits the target is spot on and in this case, that's the more important element. The book's not a technothriller, after all.
The writing is reasonably tight and the presentation is good. It's a bit wordy in spots, but while additional editing might have tightened things further, it might also have eroded the emotions, which carry the story along. I think the author made the right decisions for his book.
The ending works well. Enough questions remain for the book to need a sequel, but this one easily stands alone. Kudos for the last line. Five strong stars.
Review of “The Spirit of Resistance” (Jefferson’s Road Book 1)
Michael J. Scott is a local author here in the Rochester, NY area. If you’re a conservative Christian, trust me when I tell you, he’s one of us.
A while back, my overlord Chaplain Ayesha “asked” me to read and review the first book in his Jefferson’s Road Series, called The Spirit of Resistance. “Great,” I’m thinking, “a book review.”
Sometimes though, my overlord gives me a job that’s really awesome, and this was one of those times. I read the first book, and, instead of doing the review, I read the second. And when I read the second, I postponed the review until I’d read the third, and what’s the point of reading the first three without reading the fourth? Indeed, I read them all. And the great thing is, each was better than the previous.
This series is fun, serious, thoughtful, patriotic and educational in both a historical and a Biblical context. It’s got it all, adventure, love, honor, peril, and it is all in a political context.
Here’s the lowdown. Peter Baird, the first-person narrator, is a brainy and intellectual writer whose parents have passed and whose brother Martin has just come back from the war in the Middle East. He was wounded by shrapnel, has anger issues and perhaps a little untreated PTSD. By that I mean, it’s treated like men used to treat war wounds- lick them and live on. Repress your sorrows, and if you need to, drink to keep those sorrows repressed. In other words, he’s not out seeing a psychiatrist and getting his brain hooked on psychotropic drugs as Obama’s VA requires in order to have an excuse to rescind veterans’ gun rights.
Nonetheless, Peter is concerned about the last living member of his family, as he should be. Their adventure begins at similar time to that which we now face- election season:
Last night’s election ended late in the evening, with giddy newscasters declaring victory for the Democratic candidate long before even half the precincts had reported results.
It made no difference who won. This year’s election season offered Americans a choice between two candidates whose policies were virtually indistinguishable. It didn’t matter if the winner was a Democrat or a Republican- either one would edge us closer toward big government socialism and further away from the early vision of the founding fathers. As Martin often said, “Would you like to get hit by a red Mack truck, or a blue Mack truck?”
Sound familiar? Martin, having come back from a purposely unwinnable war run by lawyers instead of generals is under no delusion- the government is corrupted to the gills, and the country is screwed. Martin, who’d shed blood for this screwed country at the behest of its corrupted government, wants to get America back to what it was originally about.
He introduces his brother Peter and their boyhood friend Jerry Knapp to one of his war buddies Grant. Jerry conveniently runs his father’s local gun and ammo store. Grant and Martin have a plan to assassinate the president at the inauguration so that America can start over. Keep in mind Secret Service, the name of the president is never given. As far as the book is concerned, this is a purely hypothetical situation- it’s not a call to assassinate anyone in the real world. The characters behind the scheme want to ignite Marshall Law and inspire the revolution for which they believe the country is due. Peter wants no part of this, but he also doesn’t want to lose his brother. In an effort to stop it, he gets sucked into a scheme that changes the world.
“Do you remember what Dad made us memorize?”
“Jefferson.” I shrank from the word, from him.
“He knew this day would come. I’ve thought about this over and over again. I can’t tell you how many times- when they were shooting at me over there- and I’d get back, and I’d hear what those liberals were saying over here. His letter to William Smith.”
“I know it, Marty.”
He quoted it anyway, measuring the words in his tone, making them his own. “’God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always well-informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms.’” He beat the windowsill with his open palm, accenting his point. “’The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It’s the natural manure.’”
I sighed and pushed away from him, ducking under his outstretched arm. “I-I don’t know. Assassinating the President? How are we supposed to pull that off?”
He smiled. Satisfied. I realized then that he’d won the argument. The questions were no longer theoretical. He put a comforting hand on my shoulder. “Just leave that to me.”
I swallowed the beer and felt numb.
Michael J. Scott and I both know that Timothy McVeigh was wearing the “Tree of Liberty” quote on the T-shirt he was wearing on the day of the OKC bombing, but that does not in any way undermine the importance of the truth that underlies Thomas Jefferson’s speech. If you ain’t willing to kill to save your country, what’s the point of being willing to die for it? Cue the paraphrase of General Patton: The goal of war isn’t to die for your country, it’s to make the other poor son of b@%$h die for his. My point is just that McVeigh’s use of the line in his horrific performance of rebellion doesn’t make Jefferson’s speech illegitimate. While freedom isn’t free, it’s also not just another word for nothing left to lose.
Look, this isn’t a book that suggests we should assassinate the president. It’s really a book that examines what might happen if that were to happen in this day and age. Our country is no longer as free as it used to be. In the olden days, our country could get along just fine without the government, but, today, we aren’t allowed to have an indoor bowl movement without first following some several hundred federal regulations regarding the use of water, toilet and plumbing specs and toilet paper manufacturing. Cutting the head off the monster that our federal government has become creates havoc and changes the world in ways we wouldn’t want to imagine. However, Michael J. Scott has indeed imagined those ways, and it’s a read you cannot put down.
Another fun aspect of this book is that Peter, the first person narrator, has some sort of identic memory, perhaps similar to that of Ted Cruz. Whenever he hears a quote or a Bible verse, he tells you who gave the quote, names the verse and/or corrects the quote if the person using it spoke incorrectly. With that in mind, there are a lot of Bible verses and quotes from our Founding Fathers. What would a revolution be without the people leading it drawing on historical and Biblical texts in order to keep their underlings in line?
Again, Peter is the victim here of being manipulated into a world-changing scheme in which he only takes part in order to stop it.
Nonetheless, Grant is indeed a clever military general of sorts. He’s not Martin’s equal, but a wartime leader.
To tell you more would be to give the story away. Suffice it to say, Book One is great, but the beginning is slower than the rest of the adventure because it takes time to set up the story. Once through the setup, this adventure is second to none. You come into contact with militias, FEMA camp prisons, a Muslim Caliphate, secret armies and a cast of unforgettable characters that do nothing but make you love your country even more.
And that’s a big part of it. This series of books makes you examine the modern-day America through the eyes of the Founding Fathers and from a Biblical perspective. It’s not just a story about killing a president. It’s a story about the fallen man in a country that has severed its tether to the Biblical Foundation upon which this country was founded.
The first book is free on Amazon Kindle, and the next three are just a little more than three bucks a piece. Book One is called The Spirit of Resistance, Book Two is called Patriots and Tyrants, Book Three is called The Tree of Liberty, and Book Four is called God and Country. I’m looking forward to Book Five, if there is one of course.
Like I said, the first one is free. Do yourself a favor and download it today, or order it on dead tree if you’re not into reading digital books. I pretty much guarantee you that you will have no choice whatsoever when it comes to the decision of whether to get the second book. It’s an addictive read to all patriots.
There’s no better way to fall in love with America again than by examining what’s went wrong in hopes of getting it back on its proper track before these books become prophetic. Believe me, the author’s goal is not in any way to see these books become prophetic. His is just to warn us of the theoretical consequences of not getting our country back on track. Enjoy, and you’re welcome in advance.
Frederick Douglass Foundation is The Largest Christ-Centered, Multi-Ethnic and Republican Ministry in America