Monday, June 28, 2010

Book Review: The Portable Patriot

As we start towards Sunday's observance of Independence Day here in the United States, it's the perfect time to remember where we've come from as a nation.  We should be stopping to remember what price was paid for our freedom, and what we struggled with to reach the point of our freedom.

Into this situation comes The Portable Patriot, compiled and edited by Joel J. Miller and Kristen Parrish.

The Portable Patriot: Documents, Speeches, and Sermons That Compose the American Soul

This is the second book I've read with Joel Miller as an author.  The first, The Revolutionary Paul Revere, is also available from Thomas Nelson Publishers.

The Revolutionary Paul Revere

Both books show Miller's passion for the Founding Era of the United States.  It's not an entirely bad passion.

Now, to The Portable Patriot.  A few things about this review:

1.  I'm not about to criticize most of the content of this book.  While I may have my agitation with various interpretations of the US Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence, I'm not feeling qualified today to critique the Founding Fathers.

2.  This is a Booksneeze Book Review.  The book was free in exchange for the review.  Most bloggers can get free ones.

3.  My personal knowledge of the Founding Era isn't adequate to tell what documents Miller and Parrish chose to leave out of this collection.  There were, certainly, documents that were left out.

Onto the review:

I enjoyed the book.  First of all, the subtitle is this: "Documents, Speeches, and Sermons that Compose the American Soul."  As a pastor, I'm pleased to see "Sermons" included.  The founding of America came not just through political action but also through the work of preachers to encourage the people to freedom.  So, that was a positive to me.

The documents start with the Mayflower Compact, and concludes with Noah Webster's observations on the 26th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.  The only documents that date from later than Webster's speech in 1802 are the Amendments to the US Constitution that date since that time.

Each document is briefly introduced to provide historical context.  These explanations are given factually rather than containing commentary, which is a strength for this work.

The commentary from the editors is expressed in the Introduction and the Afterword.  This is a good place for it.  It allows the reader to first be aware of the religious and political leanings of the authors, and to see and understand what perspective is being presented. 

The book is a hardcover, slightly less than 5x7.  The binding seems like it will hold up well over multiple readings.  I'd highly recommend this book. 


Remember to read Disclosures! to see how much I was paid to do this (nothing) or how much Booksneeze influenced the review (not-at-all.)

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