Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can Do About It, by Star Parker

This book takes an extremely unflinching look at: poverty in this country, the flaws in the current welfare system, and the steps the author believes we need to take to take the power away from the government, and put it back in the hands of the people in the form of personal responsibility. Having spent much of her life using and abusing the system herself, Ms Parker draws from her own experience, and recounts the freedom she experienced at turning her life around and no longer relying on government handouts.

She makes a strong plea for a return to personal responsibility, moral living, and old-fashioned family values. She also makes many compelling points about the problems with our current system, and sheds some light on what it would take to change it.

Unfortunately, whatever useful information is contained in the book - and I concede that it is indeed there - is eventually lost in what turns into a bitter diatribe against the liberal left. The author lost me about a third of the way in, and never really got me back.  The tone of the book comes across as sarcastic and arrogant, to the point that I had a difficult time finishing it.  I disagreed with her stance on a few big issues, but I disagreed more with her delivery.  No matter where one's political beliefs lie, it gets exhausting reading a one-woman attack on, well, anyone and everyone who isn't a conservative Republican.  I do not believe that any one group has the definitive answer (to this or any of our nation's problems), and I do not believe that slinging mud at anyone will ever truly further a cause. 

If you're a fan of Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity (both of whom gave the book high praise), you will likely love this book. If you're not, you may well glean some good information from its pages, but you might want to tread with caution.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”