If I could add a book to the required reading list in American high schools it would be America the Beautiful by Dr. Ben Carson.
By now most have heard about Dr. Carson because of his speech given at the National Prayer Breakfast and the subsequent media coverage of the event and of Dr. Carson.
I’ve just finished reading Dr. Carson’s book and I highly recommend it. I recommend it to readers of all ages, and especially to teenagers. Here’s why:
America the Beautiful is an inspiring book by, and about, an inspiring man, Dr. Ben Carson. In this book, subtitled Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great, Carson tells the story of America well, and covers the spectrum of American life, history and culture as shown in the table of contents:
- America’s History Of Rebelling For Change
- Who Are “We The People”?
- Are We A Judeo-Christian nation Or Not?
- A Different School Of Thought
- Capitalism: Its Pros And Cons
- Socialism: Whose Pot Of Soup Is It?
- What Is A Moral Nation?
- Learning From Our Mistakes
- America’s Role In A World At War
- Is Health Car A Right?
- A Nation Divided
- Liberty And Justice For All
- What’s Good About America?
- What Do We Believe And In Whom Do We Trust?
The genius of this particular book is in Dr. Carson’s weaving of his own personal story into the story of America. By now, you probably know much of that story; a story of a black American growing up in the poverty of the slums of Detroit and Boston and, against the odds, achieving the pinnacle in his chosen profession … medicine.
In the telling of this story Dr. Carson shows an American life that that has experienced all levels of society; from the depths of poverty, through experiences of vicious racial prejudice, the struggles of academic achievement and finally his arrival as an extraordinarily successful and wealthy man, and of his using that pinnacle of wealth as a means to reach out and help others in many ways.
Dr. Carson’s story is one of many similar stories of young people overcoming the very real oppressions of life in poverty and achieving great success. Others that come to mind are:
- Condoleezza Rice – Stanford University professor, National Security Advisor to President George W. Bush, Secretary of State to President George W. Bush, world class concert pianist.
- Charles Payne – Journalist, financial advisor, author, CEO of a financial company he founded, co-host of a financial program on the Fox Business Network.
- Clarence Thomas — Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
- Herman Cain — Author, business executive, radio host, syndicated columnist, chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Omaha Branch, candidate for the 2012 U.S. Republican Party presidential nomination.
Teens from all walks of life could benefit from reading this book; those from the inner cities and poor rural communities, teens being raised by a single mother as well as those from middle class and wealthy families.
My grandson goes to a high school where there is a mixture of students from all walks of life, and has told me on several occasions of his concern for many of his classmates, and how he sees little hope of them overcoming their situations. A book and a life such as Dr. Carson’s would give hope and inspiration to my grandson as well as those he mixes with on a daily basis; lets give them a shot at such inspiration by making this book widely available to teens.
And one final note … This story is an American story, a story made possible by the the liberty that is deeply engrained in American life and culture; an exceptional America.
Don Johnson – April 2013