Book Review: “One Nation” by Ben Carson, MD (2014)

“What we can all do to save America’s Future”

coverAs of this writing, the 2016 Presidential Primaries are all the rage, so it should be no surprise that my interest has been drawn once again towards Ben Carson, MD, and his incomparable success story epitomizing what a life can be when characterized by strong morals and common sense. In One Nation, Dr. Carson presents his political and moral views simply as a mere citizen interested in knowing which directions our nation is headed, though not yet officially presenting himself as a possible answer to our future’s unknown troubles. As such, this book reads more like a series of thought-provoking essays than as a campaign platform, which should appeal to a broader audience.

I completed this audio book while driving to an from school each day, which proved to be a healthy preparation for my conversations with liberal co-teachers and my lessons focused on helping kids mature. The layout of the audio book is as follows:

Preface with the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast Speech
01 Saving our Future
02 Political Correctness
03 Elitism
04 Ignorance and Forgetfulness
05 Bigotry
06 No Winners in Political Fighting
07 Enslaving Our Children
08 Pushing Back
09 Respectful Disagreement
10 The Art of Compromise
11 Becoming Informed
12 Wisdom and Knowledge
13 My Brother’s Keeper
14 Without a Vision
15 Role Models
16 The Origin of Morality
17 Take Courage

Like many people, my initial fawning over Dr. Carson came after I watched his 2013 Prayer Breakfast speech, where he totally destroyed liberal thinking with his soft words of common sense—all as President Obama sat only a few feet away. Delightful! While I wish that the audio book had simply recorded the original speech rather than a narration off his script, hearing the thing again was a great reminder for why Bed Carson deserves to lead, if not as President, then perhaps at least as Vice.

The general theme of this book can be stated as simply this: “The enemy of the average American is not other Americans, so we must build cordial relationships with those with whom we disagree, converse with common sense, and find our common ground so we can save our nation together.” After so many months of genuine campaigning, Carson has proven that his advice had never been hogwash. Since throwing his hat into the ring, he’s maintained a consistent platform and has kept his hands clean. While this kindness may not win him a primary, it has certainly amplified his qualifications as a leader and magnified his core message to an American audience en masse. We fellow-believers can only hope that his Scripturally-sound advice will find some footholds in our national psyche.

An awesome addition to this book are Carson’s four “Action Points” that conclude each of his chapters. These are practical and manageable challenges for the reader to step outside his modern-day, follow-the-talking-head manner of thinking and instead to start thinking for himself. If this book were to be used as a high-school or college book discussion group, these action steps could prove potentially life-changing.

If I were to make a single challenge regarding One Nation, I would tell everyone within earshot to read Chapter 11 and 12. These two chapters truly could turn any average thinking person into one of total common sense which, incidentally, is exactly the type of person who might then cast a vote for Ben Carson as President!

©2016 E.T.

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