Tuesday, July 25, 2006

History Lessons

Still reeling from the 32 hour trip back to the Philippines. I try to find a good side to these arduous journeys and one good thing is the total concentration you can devote to reading a book. To give you an idea how long the trip is, I was able to finish reading 2 books. One was "Wealth and Democracy" and the other was a biography on Theodore Roosevelt.

The first book on wealth was an interesting read because it tracked the growing wealth of the US and exposed the problems that existed even during Jefferson's time specifically corruption and politician-opportunists who overlook the principal reason of public service over their selfish, self-enriching schemes.

The tome on TR closely examines his life and extols his heroic and visionary qualities without glossing over his many human foibles. I try to read as many books on American history as I can because it is wise to follow the ascent of a relatively young democracy that continues to strive to make life better for its citizens. It will do so much to defuse racial tensions and minimize petty bickering in the United States if more instruction were devoted to the teaching of how America became such a blessed nation. Richard Stengel wrote: "Being an American is not based on a common ancestry, a common religion, even a common culture--it's based on accepting an uncommon set of ideas. And if we don't understand those ideas, we don't value them; and if we don't value them, we don't protect them."

Jefferson said: "A nation cannot be ignorant and free".

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