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Real Common Sense: Using Our Founding Values to Reclaim Our Nation and Stop the Radical Right from Hijacking Americaby Brian Kahn
Synopses & Reviews
"I listen to [Brian Kahn on Home Ground Radio] every Tuesday while I run a saw in a lumber mill. I usually find [his] interviews fascinating because they put a person into the story . . . when the program ends, I wish for another half hour."—Dan Kostelnik, mill worker, Belgrade, MT
Tom Paine’s 1776 book Common Sense galvanized America in support of national independence. Paine was a fierce champion of the political, social, and economic rights of the common man. Today, America’s extreme Right is trying to re-write our nation’s history, and deny our Founders’ commitment to social justice. As part of that effort, pundit Glenn Beck has gone so far as to steal
the legacy of Tom Paine, using Common Sense as the title for a book—and praising Paine. But the book itself attacks the very ideas in which Paine believed, and if the great patriot was alive today, Beck would label him a radical socialist or revolutionary Marxist.
In Real Common Sense, award-winning public radio host Brian Kahn faces up to America’s critical problems—and then shows how the principles and values of America’s Founders can provide the moral compass we need to turn things around. In easy-to-read, common sense language, he shows how we have gone off course as a country, emphasizing consumerism over citizenship, entertainment over education, me” over we”. By reconnecting with our founding American principles, he argues, we can create a future worthy of our grandchildren.
Brian Kahn is host of the awardwinning public radio program Home Ground and is the recipient of the 2009 Montana Governor's Award for the Humanities and the Chevron Conservation Award. He has been published in the Los Angeles Times, The Nation, and Field & Stream. He has worked as a ranch hand, boxing coach, lawyer, conservationist, and journalist, and lives in Montana.
"Kahn, a public radio host, calls for a 'common sense' return to the values of our forefathers and a shift in our priorities from consumers to citizens, stressing the importance of interdependence and community bonds. He wags his finger at corporate excess, right-wing rhetoric, and consumer greed before launching into his earnest advice. Few of his ideas, such as his call for media reform and a renewed public service requirement, are revolutionary, but he argues them with an effective blend of fact ('In 2005, an Institute of Medicine report found that 80% to 97% of food product aimed at children and teenagers are Ã¢Â€Â˜of poor nutritional quality'Â ') and rhetoric ('why isn't our government willing to pass regulations to protect kids from junk food advertising? Our public officials believe that junk food profits are more important than the health of our nation's children'). Cynics might find his perspectives simplistic — and Kahn is no Tom Paine — but his is a well-intentioned reflection on what it means to be a citizen in today's imperfect America. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
Book News Annotation:
In this answer to the Tea Party movement and the co-option of American rhetoric by the radical right, Kahn, the host of the Public Radio program, Home Ground, presents this small volume on restoring the key values of citizenship and egalitarianism to the popular discourse. The work addresses topics such as citizenship and community, responsible media, checks and balances, conservation, and conscience and provides a clear vision and practical solutions for restoring American political culture. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Crashing the Mad Tea Party with Real Common Sense
America's extreme Right falsely claims the Founding Fathers as allies for their radical agenda. Pundit Glenn Beck has gone so far as to use the title of Tom Paines famous 1776 pamphlet Common Sense for his own book—a book that attacks the political, social and economic rights which Paine and the Founders fought for.
Its time to cut through the rhetoric, smoke, and spin, and get back to our core American values. We have gone off course as a country by emphasizing consumerism over citizenship, entertainment over education, and "me" over "we." By rediscovering the moral compass our Founders put into place, we can create a united America, and a future worthy of our grandchildren.
I listen to Brian Kahn on Home Ground Radio] every Tuesday while I run a saw in a lumber mill. I usually find his] interviews fascinating because they put a person into the story . . . when the program ends, I wish for another half hour.--Dan Kostelnik, mill worker, Belgrade, MT
Home Ground gives people here a better sense of what is going on . . . than any other show on either radio or television, public or private.--Gordon G. Brittan Jr., professor of philosophy, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana
Brian seems to have his finger on the pulse of the West and finds people and subjects not always widely known but so integral to our daily lives.--Ellen Dudley, Sheridan, Wyoming
With stunning cynicism, right-wing pundit Glenn Beck has tried to hijack the legacy of Tom Paine--patriot, visionary, and American founder. The real Tom Paine--a proponent of democracy who argued against institutionalized religion and introduced the concept of a minimum wage--would be baffled to have inspired this explosion of pro-business politics.
With Real Common Sense, award-winning public radio host Brian Kahn takes back traditional American values and insists that we promote citizenship over consumerism. Real Common Sense seeks to reinvigorate the meaning of neighbor, reevaluate what is public and what is private, explore the importance of environmental costs, and demystify false debates that distract us from what actually matters. By reconnecting with our American principles, it is still possible to create a future worthy of our grandchildren.
Brian Kahn is host of the OWAA Excellence Award-winning public radio program Home Ground and is the recipient of the 2009 Montana Governor's Award for the Humanities and the Chevron Conservation Award. He has been published in the Los Angeles Times, The Nation, and Outdoor Life.
About the Author
BRIAN KAHN is host of the award-winning public radio program Home Ground. He has been published in the Los Angeles Times, The Nation, and Field & Stream. He has worked as a ranch hand, college boxing coach, lawyer, conservationist, journalist, and lives in Montana.
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History and Social Science » American Studies » Culture Wars