I am a big history buff. And I love studying American wars. Not because they are glamorous or to glorify killing, but because of the way people believe in the idea or cause so much that it drives them to battle. As a student of leadership, analyzing the historical decision making process, strategic planning of attacks, and how generals increase motivation in their troops, can teach volumes of how to manage, delegate, and how to collaboratively relate to other humans in crisis.
Though, I am sure many read this book looking for political ammunition, I decided to study it for the historical insight into the lives of ordinary people with an extraordinary dream of freedom. The twenty-five American Patriots, Rick Santorum highlights came from all walks of life. And though their names aren’t as familiar to us now, you can be assured these Americans were top influencers in the establishing of our great country.
The book is broken down into three sections: Part One- Life, Part Two- Liberty, and Part Three- The Pursuit of Happiness. Considering the medical, ethical, and spiritual debates many states and the government at whole are wrestling with in regards to abortion, I found Part One-Life to be most inspiring. Rick, former Senator, House Representative, and Republican Candidate for the 2012 Presidential election is also a devout Catholic. In addition, he is the father of eight children one of which has deceased and one with severe developmental disabilities. So Rick writes with compassion when he states, “Today our country is deeply divided over this most basic right to human life, and the controversy is not limited to life in the womb. The same issues are at stake for the sick, the elderly, and those with disabilities” (p. 9). As a Christian, I greatly appreciated Rick’s bold and articulate declaration of life as an immediate and mysterious gift from God.
Overall, I think Rick’s discussion on life, liberty, and happiness is beneficial for the current state of our country. It appears that America is in some sort of transition period. Sociologists agree that we have experienced a technological revolution with the explosion of the “dot com” boom of the early 2000’s, but I sense the U.S. is on the brink of another defining revolution of sorts. Not necessarily a violent coup or treason the way our Founding Fathers rebelled against the Crown, but perhaps in how we do society and how we decide our leadership. I am no political scientist, but I do see restlessness in people seeking more from life and dissatisfaction in politics. It’s a possibility that Rick is on track with his yearning desire for those in the current generations to understand where we came from so that we can chart a new path into our country’s future.
Though I am never a straight party ballot ticket voter, and have voted for both parties in the past at the local and national level, I wonder had this book been released earlier, perhaps during the primaries, maybe we’d be getting ready to swear in Rick Santorum into office.
I received a free copy of American Patriots from Tyndale in exchange for an honest review.