Official Review: Better Lives for Our Grandchildren

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JR Mercier
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Official Review: Better Lives for Our Grandchildren

Post by JR Mercier » 03 Jul 2018, 04:53

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Better Lives for Our Grandchildren" by Bill Robertson.]
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2 out of 4 stars
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Bill Robertson, a retired marketing executive of a multimillion-dollar organization, started a blog in 2008 called No Smoke Blown. Worried about the standard of living of his grandchildren, he started blogging about the problems America are facing, his perspective on the political climate, and practical solutions.

The book consists of all the author’s cornerstone blogs spanning from 2008 to 2017. 9 years of thoughts and feelings are condensed into one single sitting. The blog style includes dates throughout the years and offered the book an epic realness that made a considerable impact, especially on those that follow American politics.

I am South African, and I have been following American politics for the last couple of years. The author supports the Republican party, and I respect that. This piece is on his opinions and I kept that in mind. I tried to my best to stay objective. That being said, I did not agree with the majority of what the author had to say.

The major problem I had with this read was that it was primarily a rant. When I read the blurb, I was expecting an insightful, objective analysis on American politics and the worry he has for his grandchildren. Instead, I read a very uncompromising, one-sided debate. Does that make what the author has to say any less real? No. Did it make me slightly mad? Yes.

I’ve never thought of politics as black and white, but the author clearly does. The use of words and phrases like ‘perverts’ and ‘crackpot darling of the environmental zealots’ had me clenching my fists. If I wanted to hear a tirade on politics, I would go read a few threads on Twitter. I am not a Republican or a Democrat but even I saw the blatant bias.

Another problem I had was the author didn’t elaborate on anything. It’s assumed the reader knows the political jargon and knows all the current events and political figures. I would have liked it if it had been clearer on the organizations and figurehead he was discussing.

There was one quote in the book that struck a chord with me. “This is not a Democratic or Republican thing. This is an American thing.” I wish the book had followed this idea. The author is clearly an intelligent individual and I liked some of the points he brought up, but the way it was written has me shaking my head. The writing itself was informal and looks professionally edited. I only noticed one typo throughout the whole read and the author’s writing makes it feel like he is talking to you.

I rate Better Lives for Our Grandchildren: A Plane Crash Survivor's Perspective on Politics and Life 2 out of 4 stars. The writing was clear, and the author made it a very personal read, which I liked. I did not like the biased, one-sided tirade. I would recommend this book to those that are of the Republican party or those seeking to look inside the mind of one.

******
Better Lives for Our Grandchildren
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Post by Bianka Walter » 07 Jul 2018, 13:09

I don't think I would have been able to get through this. I'm all for people's ideas and opinions when it comes to politics, but don't use your book for a personal rant.
Great review!
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Post by cpru68 » 07 Jul 2018, 16:03

I had considered reviewing this book, but then I backed away as I wondered what political slant it would take. I just cannot tolerate the raised voices of both sides right now and all the mud slinging. I think even if I would have found some points to be delivered in honesty, I’m just so over the drama. I feel shut down to some extent to all political subjects. Your review was a good reminder why I’m laying low on political books right now.
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Post by Cecilia_L » 07 Jul 2018, 20:22

I'm really glad I read your review because now I know I absolutely do not want to read this one! I also find the title deceiving. I consider myself a conservative American but I don't appreciate the kind of rants you described. When I hear of people from other countries like yourself, following American politics, I cringe a little inside. :oops2: Don't get me started on Twitter! Thanks for the informative review.

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Post by JR Mercier » 08 Jul 2018, 05:16

Bianka Walter wrote:
07 Jul 2018, 13:09
I don't think I would have been able to get through this. I'm all for people's ideas and opinions when it comes to politics, but don't use your book for a personal rant.
Great review!
Thank you so much! And I completely agree. Your views are YOURS and I'll respect that but don't try and force it onto your readers.
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Post by JR Mercier » 08 Jul 2018, 05:19

cpru68 wrote:
07 Jul 2018, 16:03
I had considered reviewing this book, but then I backed away as I wondered what political slant it would take. I just cannot tolerate the raised voices of both sides right now and all the mud slinging. I think even if I would have found some points to be delivered in honesty, I’m just so over the drama. I feel shut down to some extent to all political subjects. Your review was a good reminder why I’m laying low on political books right now.
I don't know if it's because I am not from America but I was expecting something a lot more calm and insightful. It was just filled with aggression and it... I don't even know what to say. I'm just shaking my head. The author is clearly intelligent but there is so much hate - it made me so uncomfortable. Thank you so much for the great comment.
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Post by JR Mercier » 08 Jul 2018, 05:22

Cecilia_L wrote:
07 Jul 2018, 20:22
I'm really glad I read your review because now I know I absolutely do not want to read this one! I also find the title deceiving. I consider myself a conservative American but I don't appreciate the kind of rants you described. When I hear of people from other countries like yourself, following American politics, I cringe a little inside. :oops2: Don't get me started on Twitter! Thanks for the informative review.
Thank you SO MUCH! You are a perfect example of what it should be like. There is NOTHING wrong with being conservative or liberal. To each his own. There is just so much hate and it's usually the hateful ones that get all the media attention and give a bad rep to everyone. And don't worry about the cringing. South African politics is so embarrassing but the people are great. I love my country. I just wish the people that represented us did too.
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Post by kandscreeley » 08 Jul 2018, 18:24

I'm not necessarily against one sided books, but I would like them to be clear and supportive of his opinion. Also, it'd be nice for them not to call the other viewpoint names. I think I'll pass on this one. Thanks, though.
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Post by meadhbh » 08 Jul 2018, 20:42

I often find it very hard to sympathise with Republican viewpoints, particularly on social issues. While the concept is interesting, I think I'll give it a miss as it lacks the balance or analysis that would attract me to something like this. Great review!

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Post by crediblereading2 » 08 Jul 2018, 21:34

The author should have just given his points about both parties but avoid the name calling. Thank you for your honest review.

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Post by teacherjh » 09 Jul 2018, 01:02

I think it is sad when so many political debates devolve into name-calling and ranting. Give me a calm, intelligent conversation any day.

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Post by JR Mercier » 09 Jul 2018, 02:06

kandscreeley wrote:
08 Jul 2018, 18:24
I'm not necessarily against one sided books, but I would like them to be clear and supportive of his opinion. Also, it'd be nice for them not to call the other viewpoint names. I think I'll pass on this one. Thanks, though.
I agree with you on that. Thank you!
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Post by JR Mercier » 09 Jul 2018, 02:08

meadhbh wrote:
08 Jul 2018, 20:42
I often find it very hard to sympathise with Republican viewpoints, particularly on social issues. While the concept is interesting, I think I'll give it a miss as it lacks the balance or analysis that would attract me to something like this. Great review!
I get that completely. There are pros and cons to both sides but the author clearly didn't see it that way.
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Post by JR Mercier » 09 Jul 2018, 02:09

crediblereading2 wrote:
08 Jul 2018, 21:34
The author should have just given his points about both parties but avoid the name calling. Thank you for your honest review.
Definitely. Thank you for the comment. :tiphat:
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Post by JR Mercier » 09 Jul 2018, 02:10

teacherjh wrote:
09 Jul 2018, 01:02
I think it is sad when so many political debates devolve into name-calling and ranting. Give me a calm, intelligent conversation any day.
The author is clearly a smart man. If he had written this book with an unbiased perspective, I would have loved it.
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