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Book: American Patriots by Rick Santorum

Continuing on a Book Binge: this week is a catch-up week for me on book reviews. I don’t get unsolicited books for book reviews, I ask for all of them. (Well, once I had a person contact me. I was less-than-enthusiastic about the book, and haven’t gotten an unsolicited since.) However, life tends to back up the shelf.
Senator Rick Santorum ran for President. He lost. After that, he released a book of short biographies of people from the Revolutionary War era of United States History. Let us hit the long and short of it straight up:
Some people do not agree with Santorum’s politics. That predisposition will cause an automatic distaste for American Patriots. Others are wholesale in favor of Santorum’s politics, and they will universally adore American Patriots. If you’re inclined to love it without paying attention, then go buy it. If you’re inclined to hate it without paying attention, then move on and grow up a touch.
There are two major parts to this book. First: there are short biographies of individuals involved in the Revolutionary Cause in the 1700s. These are good, but honestly too short. It is obvious this book was meant to be a quick-read/gift-book style and not heavy reading.
These bios have this in their favor: many of the names will be either unknown or, at best, vaguely remembered from an old required course in high school or college. One should use these as a springboard to make deeper investigation into their lives. Personally, I liked the snippet about Charles Carroll. It’s nice to know a little about the real man, though I think he may have still known where that treasure was…
The other part of American Patriots is Santorum’s own reflections on the Declaration of Independence and the lives of these individuals. This is less even-handed than the treatment of the biographies. It is clear where Santorum’s political leanings lie, and he is obviously going to over-emphasize his own views.
Of special note is this concern: America at the founding had the right start in terms of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” and that “all men are created equal.” Unfortunately, there was too small a definition of “all men” in those days, when it should have been seen as we might express “all humanity” today. Santorum emphasizes those few in American Patriots that took the minority view of the time and opposed slavery, but I think he could have made a stronger point on that issue.
In all, though, the examples of people who stood for freedom’s first fight are worth having. Santorum’s writing is not the best, but it’s better than the average blogger book-reviewer.
Free book in exchange for the review from Tyndale.

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