Official Review: Bad Dogs by Ken Gordon

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Slater678
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Official Review: Bad Dogs by Ken Gordon

Post by Slater678 »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Bad Dogs" by Ken Gordon.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Last week’s incident that saw insurrectionists stage a protest at the U.S. Capitol building is bound to elicit varied reactions from a cross-section of people. One outcome that has a bearing on this book, Bad Dogs: A Black Cadet in Dixie by Ken Gordon, was the flagrant display of Confederate flags at the seat of American democracy. As is discussed in Jon’s story, last week’s incident is a testament that the forces of white supremacy, hence racism, are still active today.

In the 80s, Jon Quest was a cadet at the Military University of the South (M.U.T.S.). Realizing that black unity was the instrument of effecting change at the university, Jon—then a student leader—advocated for measures of stopping racially offensive jokes and outright racial harassment of black students on the campus. Where appropriate, he was wise enough to know when to seek advice across the racial divide.

Accordingly, one such person Jon reached across to, on occasion, was Mr. Simon, an active participant in the M.U.T.S.’s Cadet Adoption Program. He mentioned him as one of the sources of the most significant and educated experiences in his life. One such enduring lesson related to how Jon should react when forced to sing “Dixie” by the upperclassmen. Furthermore, through using the example of Uncle Tom, Mr. Simon taught Jon that the best course of action in getting what one wanted was to become proficient in his/her opponent’s game before bettering it.

In the novel, what I liked best was the narrative style, as well as the colloquial language used by the characters. Through Gordon’s writing, I felt the novel captured the authentic soul of the black urban youth, who had been thrust into an unforgiving environment that they had to survive by their sheer wit and camaraderie. Moreover, it took grit and creativity for the black students’ leadership agenda to be considered by the predominantly white administration. As a result, there were many tense moments where both sides were pitted against each other in a showdown. One such memorable case involved a certain black freshman (toad), a brother of a member of the university’s board of directors, who was racially abused by a group of white cadets.

On the other hand, the book seemed to have been professionally edited. Nevertheless, I found four editing errors in it. This was the only aspect I found negative in the novel. Importantly, since the number of errors wasn’t enough to affect its rating, I rate it 4 out of 4 stars.

Lastly, this book has some insightful reflections on the true nature of racism. Unfortunately, because of negative news, it can be difficult to imagine a world that is free of racial prejudice, inequality, and injustice. I recommend it to readers who are brave enough to talk about the scourge of racism and its effects. As well, it’s a book suitable for readers who want to understand racism better, probably so that they can incorporate change on a personal level. It’s, however, less suited to readers who are affected by strong language in any work of art.

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Bad Dogs
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Tarilan
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Post by Tarilan »

Unfortunately, most people ignore talks about racism. It is one of the commonest vices yet nothing is done about it. Good job on the review. I feel like this book is insightful and thought provoking.
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Post by Serenity2010 »

Racism is something I experienced from both the black community and white community as a mix individual. If this book is as intense as your review suggest .I am in for one heck of an emotional rollercoaster ride to when I pick this book up. Thanks for a great review. Racism should be acknowledged more with the amount of people who are in denial today.
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Post by Drianie »

This book will cause readers to pause and reflect. Treating everyone with equality is something we should all aspire to do. I look forward to this thought-provoking read. Thanks for the insightful review!
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Post by Slater678 »

Tarilan wrote: 11 Jan 2021, 00:29 Unfortunately, most people ignore talks about racism. It is one of the commonest vices yet nothing is done about it. Good job on the review. I feel like this book is insightful and thought provoking.
Thanks for your kind comments.
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Post by Slater678 »

Serenity2010 wrote: 11 Jan 2021, 00:49 Racism is something I experienced from both the black community and white community as a mix individual. If this book is as intense as your review suggest .I am in for one heck of an emotional rollercoaster ride to when I pick this book up. Thanks for a great review. Racism should be acknowledged more with the amount of people who are in denial today.
As Jon says in the book, even among the white community there is so much diversity in terms of an individuals size, shape, hair etc. that he wonders why skin color should be a basis of judging anyone. Thanks for your kind comments.
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Post by Slater678 »

Drianie wrote: 11 Jan 2021, 03:13 This book will cause readers to pause and reflect. Treating everyone with equality is something we should all aspire to do. I look forward to this thought-provoking read. Thanks for the insightful review!
I hope so too. Thanks for your kind comments.
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Post by Viczboy16 »

Jon’s character is one that should be emulated by many. I love the fact that the book was professionally edited and hopefully, a revised edition would eliminate the few errors you saw.
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Post by Mindful Wordsmith »

"... it’s a book suitable for readers who want to understand racism better, probably so that they can incorporate change on a personal level." - You are so right. It's important for all of us to understand racism and discrimination on a personal level. It will make us aware of our own shortcomings and help us deal better with it because discrimination based on color, race is everywhere and yet we behave as if the situation will just improve somehow on its own. Thanks for your enlightening review.
Imagination is a good servant, and a bad master. - Agatha Christie
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Post by Pluma »

This sounds like a relevant and engaging book. It’s interesting (and sad) to see how issues that were prevalent so long ago are still affecting our society today without resolution, and I admire the author for creating a work on this topic, as it’s not an easy thing to do. I applaud them for it as well, because more people need to see and talk about this issue. Thanks for the great review!
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Post by Nqobile771 »

The timing of your review of this book is spot on. Sadly, the disgraceful events that took place at the U.S. Capitol take us back but on the bright side, they show that racism is rife and we can't keep shying away from this topic.
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Post by AtienoMagero »

Wonderful review! Your review has been helpful and provided me great insight about this book. This is definitely a thought provoking book to read.
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Post by MayorE »

Racism should be a thing of the past and not our present day. It’s quite unfortunate some people still act racist. Thanks for an insightful review
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Post by Josephe-Anne »

Serenity2010 wrote: 11 Jan 2021, 00:49 Racism is something I experienced from both the black community and white community as a mix individual. If this book is as intense as your review suggest .I am in for one heck of an emotional rollercoaster ride to when I pick this book up. Thanks for a great review. Racism should be acknowledged more with the amount of people who are in denial today.
I know what you mean about mixed people having to endure racial prejudice on both sides.
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Post by Josephe-Anne »

I don't understand all of the racist connotations of American society, but prejudice - racial and otherwise - is a universal issue. Given that this book takes place in the 1960s, we can compare that era to our own and see how some things have changed and how others have remained the same.

Thank you for a thought-provoking review.
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