America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great – Book Review

DSC02646If you aren’t already familiar with Dr. Ben Carson and you live in the USA then chances are that in the next couple of years you will be.  His life story and rise to prominent humanitarian success has been the subject of a movie (entitled “Gifted Hands” and starring Cuba Gooding Jr.) and he has written several best-selling books, of which “America the Beautiful” is the latest.

Since the release of “America the Beautiful” Dr. Carson has gained popularity as a practical, intelligent and compassionate voice calling for the American people to rediscover what made our nation great.  He is seen in many circles as a modern day patriot who even as a registered Independent maintains conservative, Godly principles of government and management.  For this reason and others, he has recently been approached by more than one group who wishes him to run for President in 2016.

While he himself has not acknowledged any plans to enter the presidential race as of yet, after reading “America the Beautiful” it is my wish that Dr. Carson be a candidate.  He has a clear understanding of how our nation was formed, how we rose to prominence in the world and that we must return to honoring God for our success if we are to continue to survive.

“America the Beautiful” begins with a look back at our nation’s history and its key players and events.  This was truly my favorite part of the book because I am a fan of history and because Dr. Carson provides plenty of evidence to support the fact that our founding fathers truly wanted “one nation under God”.  From George Washington to Ben Franklin to Thomas Jefferson, every single one of them at some point publicly acknowledged the role of the sovereign God in their lives and in the formation of this country.

Our nation was founded on “in God we Trust” and the basic ideas that government should not interfere in the lives and freedoms of its people but rather uphold and protect “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” equally for all.  When we remember and practice these tenants, we thrive.  When we forget and personal liberty is trampled we stumble and fall.

Dr. Carson then goes on to show how our nation has had its fair share of mistakes (slavery, the Civil War, the treatment of Native Americans and Japanese during WWII, civil rights) but also how we have learned from those mistakes.  He contrasts those periods in our nation’s history with the period we find ourselves in now where there is much uncertainty about our nation’s role in the world and the vast split in political ideology that seems to have occurred.

Dr. Carson is hopeful that with the intelligence and potential that the American people possess we can find the answers to the problems that we face.  Dr. Carson calls for the involvement of the best and the brightest in the process of government as well as a return to a government that is “of the people, for the people and by the people”.  In other words, we need real human beings from all walks of life involved in our political system in order for it to function properly and not just those who wish to be career politicians.  In this, I agree wholeheartedly with Dr. Carson.

Towards the end of the book Dr. Carson discusses some of the bigger problems facing our nation at this juncture and the Affordable Care Act is one of those topics.  Being a surgeon and well respected doctor, Dr. Carson’s ideas and suggestions in this area carry a lot of weight in my mind.  Dr. Carson is a brilliant man who has real experience working in the medical field and he seems to have an excellent grasp on what is needed to truly provide adequate healthcare for our populace while not bankrupting us in the process.

While the Affordable Care Act is not the only notable topic that Dr. Carson discusses in the latter parts of his book, it is perhaps the most timely.  I think what he has to say about this and about the direction our country is headed in is important enough that I would recommend “America the Beautiful” to anyone who wanted to read it.

“America the Beautiful” may not be the most fun or exciting book that I’ve read lately but it just might be one of the most important.  I pray that God is already working to provide the right leader for our country in 2016 and that we as a nation remember to honor and acknowledge God in all of our ways.  Dr. Ben Carson might just be exactly what we need and if you read “America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great” you will hopefully agree with me.

ISBN-13  978-0310330912

Publisher: Zondervan

Publication date: January 22, 2013

Pages: 224

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