3 out of 4 stars
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There have been countless protests in the United States that have combined physical and verbal violence to achieve their aims. Radicalism is on the rise. Manipulation of the masses is happening through the war of semantics. Words have been given different connotations. The value of hard work, quality and objective education, and the place of the traditional family as promoted by the Judeo-Christian foundation are under attack. It appears that George Orwell’s vision about thought-control is rapidly happening. As people cry for the defunding of the police, the thought-police is gaining more power, stifling the freedom in the market of ideas. Does the cancel culture promote freedom of speech? What is the motive behind the recent riots and insurrections? What lessons can the US learn from Israel?
For any keen observer, the thoughts of the author resonate with many developments in the world, proving the amount of research and observations that accompanied the writing of the book. It is evident we hit the tipping point long ago, and Silicon Valley now influences our lives immensely. Additionally, the cancel culture is riding on the wings of Tech Giants under the guise of advancing free speech. Consequently, Confronting Radicals: What America Can Learn From Israel by David Rubin is a timely resource book. It offers an analysis of recent events, provides a snippet of the past, and recommends various suggestions to help fight radicalism.
The author gives critical pointers for anyone that would want to understand the past correctly. Every reader will realize the importance of history because the author submits sufficient evidence on how it can be changed to suit selfish ambitions. By giving precise lessons, like the necessity of context for anyone who wants to understand history, he makes it possible for readers to comprehend what is discussed and apply this knowledge in life. Consequently, the book enables the reader to apply this concept to counter revisionist history elsewhere. In addition to history, I appreciated the inclusion of various statistics revealing changes in political and economic views, especially among the youth. It made the book believable and persuasive.
As one pores over this book, it becomes clear manipulation has been greatly advanced. The mainstream media has resorted to subjective news reports. The misinformation campaign cannot be underestimated because of its potential. It is beyond doubt that even elections, one of the pillars of democracy, are affected. It makes you question how you know what you know and its validity. More importantly, it helps fight against gullibility and creates a thirst to pursue nothing but the truth.
One of the movements extensively quoted in the book was Black Lives Matter. The book presents a summary of a few questionable deaths in the hands of police officers, like the case of George Floyd. However, these questionable killings were weakly condemned. In the case of George Floyd, his history, which includes theft and firearm charges, was included. I wondered if this history was sufficient to explain away his death. Does a history of crime justify questionable death in the hands of law enforcers? Who decides who is redeemable and who is not? I have never apologized for believing and saying that All Lives Matter, and I will not start today. Also, I am convinced it is possible to condemn any form of violence directed at law enforcers while also advocating against them using excessive force.
Confronting Radicals was edited well. I rate it three out of four stars. I believe it was possible to unequivocally condemn all deaths under questionable circumstances, not just of African Americans but every American, regardless of their skin color. Equally, the condemnation of the Capitol Hill attack was not given the same grave tone as other protests and riots. I had to question whether the Right-Wing is only the victim in the quoted incidences. These are some reasons for my failure to award the book four stars. Despite that, it is enlightening. Every American will find it beneficial. The book will appeal to everyone who cares about the nation and quests after its prosperity.
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