I hoped this book would be good on the level of Invisible Gorilla. It was not. I as a conservative, also did not appreciate the chapter on how liberals are free thinking, brave people be nature, whereas conservatives are insecure, order hungry buffoons, who hold on to beliefs that have been debunked for decades, according to the author.
I came to this book as suggestions from reading such book as "Invisible Gorilla", "The Upside of Irrationality", "Yes", and "Switch". All of these books are great. They give information that is really interesting and useful. This one tends toward, "people like are better than people like you.
The book starts off interesting, and quickly turns into your senile grandfather complaining about his grudges from 1960, until everyone starts giving reasons to leave the room.
I think the best compliment I can give is that I finished the book 4 days ago, and have been using many of the methods and thoughts the authors give. I have also been telling friends about them, and they have helped with their own changes.
Having read, "Influence", my expectations were high, and I was not disappointed. Tons of useful information, very well written, and a great book.
Well, at least Mr. Dyson devotes a third of the book to Dr. King, which is why I bought it. The title should have been, "A bit about Martin Luther King, and mostly how racist the USA is, and why Dr. King would now support everything I believe".
Mr. Dyson does give a good history, and delves into the history of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. He then goes on to pontificate about his own thoughts for most of the book.
At the end of the book, he has a fake "interview" with King, and talks about how Dr. King would support EVERYTHING the Democratic party now says. In this "interview", King says how awful it is that "Christians use the gospel to distort reality against GLBT brothers and sisters". I think it is equally appalling for Mr. Dyson to hijack a prominent leader who is dead and cannot answer, to tell people he would agree with political positions which Kings' beliefs would not support.
Bait and switch. It's 1/3 about Dr. King, and 2/3 a redone lecture that I've already hear dozens of times.
I have read this book 3 times. I say this as a staunch conservative who has become very wary of liberal writers, such as Mr. Krugman, Gore, and Alterman. This book took a very insightful look into FDR's life and what made him an amazing man. It also took a very honest look at his shortcomings, and did not gloss over some of his less noble episodes i.e. the court packing plan. Mr. Alter doesn't claim that FDR was the great leader who boldly led us out of depression. He claims that without him, there may have been something worse. I disagree with some of his premises, but this book is more factual, and not ideological. Agree or disagree, Mr. Alter has written a great book.
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