In a fascinating work of history told through a series of in depth profiles, prize-winning journalist, bestselling author, and Fox political analyst Juan Williams takes readers into the life and work of a new generation of American Founders, who honor the original Founders vision, even as they have quietly led revolutions in American politics, immigration, economics, sexual behavior, and reshaped the landscape of the nation.
Among the modern-day pioneers Williams writes about in this compelling new book are the passionate conservative President Reagan; the determined fighters for equal rights, Thurgood Marshall and Martin Luther King, Jr.; the profound imprint of Rev. Billy Graham s evangelism on national politics; the focus on global human rights advocated by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt; the leaders of the gay community who refused to back down during the Stonewall Riots and brought gay life into America s public square; the re-imagined role of women in contemporary life as shaped by Betty Friedan.
Williams reveals how each of these modern-day founders has extended the Founding Fathers original vision and changed fundamental aspects of our country, from immigration, to the role of American labor in the economy, from modern police strategies, to the importance of religion in our political discourse.
America in the 21st Century remains rooted in the Great American experiment in democracy that began in 1776. For all the changes our economy and our cultural and demographic make-up, there remains a straight line from the first Founders original vision, to the principles and ideals of today s courageous modern day pioneers."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-05-23
- Reviewer: Staff
In this blend of political history and biography, Fox News analyst Williams (Muzzled: The Assault on Honest Debate) marvels at how much America has changed since its founding. Attempting to explain how America has transformed, Williams calls for the creation of a new "Founding Family," a gallery of 20th-century figures central to the issues that define modern America: debates over gun control and environmentalism, the rise of the Religious Right, or the state of post–Civil Rights Era race relations. In the lively profiles that follow, Williams reaches across the aisle, embracing liberal and conservative heroes alike; on this new Mount Rushmore, one sees Milton Friedman and Edwin Meese alongside Betty Friedan and Jesse Jackson. But Williams's inclusive bipartisanship, however theoretically admirable, precludes practical critique and flattens nuance. When it comes to divisive issues—immigration, policing, labor unions, Robert Moses's urban planning—Williams tells readers that America has changed "for better or worse," as if all development is neutral and all of his subjects are worthy of celebration. In crafting his founding family, Williams misunderstands why Americans invoke the founding fathers in the first place: not because they created the nation, but because their ideals inspire citizens to forge a better one. Agent: Eric Lupfer, William Morris Endeavor. (Apr.)