True Faith and Allegiance – Alberto R. Gonzales

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Alberto R. Gonzales, True Faith and Allegiance. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2016, 526 pp. $19.09

True Faith and Allegiance is the biographical tale of a man who has experienced the American dream. Rising from humble origins, this man served in a prestigious Texas law firm, and served under George W. Bush during his days as governor of Texas. He became the Secretary of State in Texas and was named as a Supreme Court Justice in that state. He was later appointed by then-President George W. Bush to serve as special legal counsel until he reached the apex of his career in an appointment to serve as Attorney General in the Bush administration.

True Faith and Allegiance recounts the life and career of Alberto R. Gonzales, the first Hispanic man to ever serve as Attorney General. Gonzales writes with a stunning amount of transparency in this book, sparing no details.

While the book is primarily about Gonzales, one of the most fascinating features is his insight into the forty-third president of the United States, George W. Bush. Gonzales speaks highly of Bush and alerts readers to his keen intellect, rock-solid integrity, loyal friendship, and his leadership abilities.

The most outstanding feature of True Faith and Allegiance is the depth of Gonzales character. It is a testament to personal integrity, courage under fire, and devotion to the Commander in Chief. Alberto Gonzales paid a steep price for being a man of integrity and for living according to a set of timeless principles. Gonzales shares in great detail about the painful assault on his character and the tragic dividends he reaped after his time in office.

Despite these painful events, Gonzales forged ahead. He never gave up and he continues to use his gifts to serve people and glorify God. The former Attorney General writes,

Everyone at some point, believes life is unfair, but you must learn to accept and overcome adversity, put your trust in God rather than human beings, and move on. I harbored resentment for a time against Democratic senators and staffers who attacked me, and against Republicans who abandoned me. Now I see that while they sought to do evil to me, God used it for good.

Gonzales takes a page out of Joseph’s playbook by maintaining a God-centered perspective. He encourages young people, “Step into the arena with your eyes open and your armor securely attached. Be bold and take risks. Never fear criticism; you will not be treated fairly; accept the fact that you will be criticized no matter what you do, so do good anyway.”

True Faith and Allegiance is a story for every American. Some may disagree with Gonzales convictions. Others may reject his politics. But none can accuse him of being unfaithful to his country. Gonzales is a model patriot worthy to be emulated. Indeed, he is a man of true faith and allegiance!

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.

TED CRUZ – THE WACKO BIRD (2015)

They call him the “Wacko Bird.”  Other words are often used to cruzdescribe the Senator from Texas: He’s accused of being “extreme,” “out of touch,” “crazy,” and  “arrogant.”  The media has caricatured him as a right-wing lunatic.  The liberals in Congress have tried to discount him and marginalize him.

After reading, A Time For Truth by Ted Cruz, I can say with confidence that the Senator is a man who means what he says and says what he means.  He is committed to conservative values and is willing to pay a personal price for standing up for those values.

A Time For Truth is the story of an immigrant’s son – a man who learned the value of hard work, honesty, and integrity at a young age.  It is the story of a Princeton graduate (cum laude) who walked away with an undergraduate degree in Public Policy.  Cruz went on to graduate magna cum laude from Harvard Law School.  The liberal law professor, Alan Dershowitz calls Cruz, “Off-the-charts brilliant.”  Yet the Senator from Texas is portrayed as a “dummy” and an “extremist.”

Senator Cruz is a fiscal conservative.  As a young man, he memorized the Constitution and now he fights every day to preserve the freedom we enjoy as American citizens.  Cruz fights for the unborn and he fights for the voiceless.  He is committed to securing the border.  He has a plan for defeating Isis.  He is a man of faith who has the best interest of our country.

A Time For Truth sets the record straight.  I have a sneaking suspicion that Senator Cruz will get the last laugh.  The Senator from Texas is unwilling to waver.  He is unwilling to back down.  He is unwilling to compromise his conservative principles.  The “wacko bird” is just getting started.  Ted Cruz has charted an determined course to the Oval Office!

LAST ACT: The Final Years and Emerging Legacy of Ronald Reagan – Craig Shirley (2015)

 

a reagThe legacy of President Ronald Reagan is securely established in history. Liberals can scoff and moan but the fact remains; Ronald Wilson Reagan is one of the most influential Americans of all time. Indeed, Reagan is not only one of the loved and respected presidents in American history; he is also one of the most effective.

Most books focus on the life of President Reagan and work hard to establish his presidential accomplishments. Craig Shirley’s new masterpiece, Last Act: The Final Years and Emerging Legacy of Ronald Reagan takes a different approach. Shirley sets out to help readers see Reagan in a different light and in a different context. This book serves as a lens for Americans to view President Reagan in his post-presidential days, including the days which followed his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.

Last Act begins with President Reagan on his death bed. The author highlights Reagan’s life and legacy from different perspectives – including friends, family, and foes. One of the constant themes that weaves through the book is the deep and abiding love that America has for the 40th president of the United States.

We would do well to listen to the words of Reagan’s old arch nemesis, Senator Ted Kennedy who offered these fitting words, upon hearing of Reagan’s death:

He brought a special grace to the White House and the country in everything he did. We often disagreed on specific issues, but he had an undeniably unique capacity to inspire and move the Nation. On foreign policy, he will be honored as the President who won the cold war. It was more than the fact that he was a superb communicator. Some attributed at least part of his success to the fact that he was a superb communicator. Some attributed at least part of his success to the fact that he had been an actor. But his deepest convictions were matters of heart and mind and spirit, and on them, he was no actor at all.

Last Act: The Final Years and Emerging Legacy of Ronald Reagan bears the marks of a book which is informed by thorough research and careful study. Craig Shirley should be commended for his clear writing and respect for the 40th president of the United States. Last Act is not only a tribute to one of the most beloved leaders in American history; it is a gift to the American people.

The legacy of Ronald Wilson Reagan speaks for itself and will continue to reverberate throughout history. Antonin Scalia notes, “Ronald Reagan needs no one to sing his praises.” Justice Scalia may be on target. But the fact remains: History will not stand by in silence. The legacy of Ronald Reagan will endure for generations.

I received this book free from the publisher.   I was not required to write a positive review.

KILLING REAGAN – Bill O’Reilly (2015)

Some people love him; others hate him. But one thing is certainreagan about Bill O’Reilly. The popular host of the O’Reilly Factor makes history interesting. The “no-spin” Irish-American journalist began a series of killing books, with the publication of Killing Lincoln. This effort was followed by Killing Kennedy, Killing Jesus, and Killing Patton. O’Reilly’s latest offering, Killing Reagan has sparked a bit of controversy, since unlike the other characters, Reagan was not murdered.

Readers will not be surprised that at the heart of this book is an insiders look at the assassination attempt of President Reagan. The would be executioner, John Hinckley Jr. is rightly portrayed as a psycho-path drifter who will go to any length, including killing the President of the United States to impress the actress, Jodi Foster.

But readers may be surprised at how O’Reilly portrays the President. The author carefully paints a portrait of the 40th president and includes details that are making some readers uncomfortable and even upset. Make no mistake: the king of no-spin in unwilling to leave any stone unturned in this book.

Apart from some of the more controversial elements of the book, O’Reilly includes fascinating discussion about Reagan’s relationship with Nancy, staff members, Mikhail Gorbachev, and of course, the Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher.

This book will draw criticism from liberals. But it will also invite the critical response of conservative who revere Ronald Reagan. But it is clear that O’Reilly writes as an unbiased journalist here. He has no bone to pick. He has no axe to grind. He merely desires a telling of the facts. The end result is a fascinating read that ultimately honors the 40th President of the United States. Killing Reagan is a memorial to one of America’s great leaders. It is a vivid reminder of the importance of freedom. This is the story of Ronald Wilson Reagan – patriot, promoter of liberty, and President of the United States of America.

41: A PORTRAIT OF MY FATHER – George W. Bush (2014)

bush“Read my lips.  No new taxes.”  These are the words that enter the minds of most Americans when then think of President George H.W. Bush.  It is an unfortunate turn of events that the President was placed in a position where a decision to raise taxes become a necessary compromise with Democrats.

President George W. Bush writes about his father in the gripping biography, 41: A Portrait of My Father.  The book represents the first attempt of son who served as president to write about his father who also served as president.

The book spans the life of George H.W. Bush from his days growing up to his college years at Yale, his military service, numerous federal positions, not to mention his time in the oval office.  Several reviews note sharp criticism for 41 but nothing could be further from the truth.  Perhaps the most revealing insight into the life of the 41st president is his unfailing loyalty to country and comrades.  George H.W. Bush was not a war monger as suggested by the liberal left.  Rather, he was a political heavyweight.  But more importantly he was a man of integrity and honor.  He loved his country and is showed – it still does!

President George H.W. Bush was not a perfect man.  He made mistakes as we all do.  But the 41st president of the United States made principled decisions; decisions that were informed by facts and inspired by honesty.

4 stars

LIBERTY AND TYRANNY: A Conservative Manifesto – Mark Levin (2009)

1416562850_bMark Levin’s book, Liberty and Tyranny made quite a splash when it was originally published in 2009.  Even though the book is a bit dated now, I think it’s relevance is even greater now that President Obama’s failed policies have taken root.  The rotten fruit of liberalism litters the American landscape – conservatives are faced with the challenge of cleaning up the mess.

Levin lays his cards on the table at the beginning: “Conservatism is a way of understanding life, society, and governance.”  Indeed, conservatism is a worldview; a way of seeing the world and playing a part within it.

All of the arguments in Liberty and Tyranny find their genesis in the minds of the founding fathers: “The founders understood that the greatest threat to liberty is an all-powerful central government, where the few dictate to the many.”  Or as President Reagan once said, “The most frightening thing to hear when answering the door is, ‘Where from the government and we’re here to help.'”

Liberty and Tyranny is really an expose on the Statist ideology.  Of course, the Statist is consumed with power as we have seen displayed in the Obama administration.  Levin makes it clear that the “Conservative does not despise government.  He despises tyranny … The Conservative is alarmed by the ascent of a soft tyranny and its cheery acceptance by the neo-Statist.  He knows that liberty once lost is rarely recovered.  He knows of the decline and eventual failure of past republics.  And he knows that the best prescription for addressing society’s real and perceived ailments is not to further empower an already enormous federal government beyond its constitutional limits, but to return to the founding principles.”

So with the backing and historical muscle of the Founding Fathers, the author presents a cogent case for Conservatism  by confronting Statism with bold arguments and common sense American values.  He tackles matters of the free market, welfare state, environmentalism, and immigration among others.

I highly recommend Liberty and Tyranny by Mark Levin.  It will serve as an encouragement to most Americans but will be a source of irritation for social progressives.

4 stars

ONE NATION – Ben Carson, MD (2014)

carsonThese days there is no shortage on political books.  Both liberals and conservatives are making the rounds in the publishing industry.  Many books are filled with drivel and propaganda.  A few are worth reading and prove very helpful.  Dr. Ben Carson’s new book is numbered among the helpful books.

One Nation: What We Can All Do To Save America’s Future is not your typical political work.  Make no mistake, the author wastes no time in grinding his political “axe.”  But Dr. Carson comes with a different tone.  He is a non-nonsense conservative; the kind of conservative that makes social progressives squirm.  But even liberals  who disagree with the author will find the good doctor a welcome voice in the political world.

One Nation begins with Carson’s address at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast in Washington D.C.  Readers who are unfamiliar with the author would do well to carefully read and digest his remarks.  Again, he is an unashamed conservative but shares his views with boldness and humility – a combination which is rare these days, especially in Washington.

Part One: Causes of Disunity and Decline

In part one, Dr. Carson alerts readers to the multitude of cultural “brick walls” that prevent our nation from thriving.  He tackles political correctness, elitism (a favorite among the liberal “elite”), and bigotry, among others.  He accurately describes each problem with grace and tact.  Readers who are paying attention should be shaken by the depth of the problems which unfold in part one.

Part Two: Solutions

In part two, the author presents workable solutions to the problems he raised in part one.  He stresses the implementation of humility, cultivating a listening ear, and even-handed compromise, all of which are all but absent in Washington D.C.

Part Three: Who Are We?

Finally, Dr. Carson returns to the United States Constitution.  Unlike progressives and some liberals who maintain the Constitution is a “living document,” the author returns to the original intent of the founding fathers.  He stresses the importance of visionary leadership, role models, and morality – all necessary for a nation to thrive.

One Nation addresses all Americans – black, white, hispanic, Latino, and Asian.  Dr. Carson speaks to every person as a unique individual; an individual who is created in the imago dei.  But the most important feature of this book is the hope that Dr. Carson wields.  The  author waves mighty sword of freedom with boldness with the hope that other Americans will join in as well.

4 stars