forwarded by Janet Snow

Review by John Nichols

An oft-heard complaint is that we can’t tell where the various flavors of politicians stand on the issues. William J. Bennett and John T. E. Cribb have addressed that concern for conservatives in their book, America the Strong. On twenty top issues readers of this book will find definitions, penetrating questions on key facets of the topic, and the current conservative stand.

Bennett uses the acronym FLINT to group the issues into five categories - Free Enterprise, Limited Government, Individual Liberty, National Defense, and Traditional Values. In his words (page viii), “Like the stone, the ideas represented by FLINT are sound and durable.” The author acknowledges that some readers may not embrace his viewpoints, but in the spirit of full disclosure he spells out the position he believes to be common to most conservatives.

This authoritative book is well-written with footnotes supporting any quotes and data. That feature increases the book’s value as a reference tool. Given the meaty topics I read the text over several sessions allowing time to digest the material. My favorite chapters are Traditional Values, Marriage and Family, and Faith and Religion. 

Who should read America the Strong? A conservative hoping to solidify his position on the issues will find value in Bennett’s logical presentation. Likewise a reader of the liberal persuasion can gain understanding of the opposition’s beliefs through this work.