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Books by and about 2016 presidential candidates
Hard Choices,
by Hillary Clinton (2014)
Crippled America ,
by Donald J. Trump (2015)
Trump vs. Hillary On The Issues ,
by Jesse Gordon (2016)
Outsider in the White House,
by Bernie Sanders (2015)
American Dreams,
by Marco Rubio (2015)
Taking a Stand,
by Rand Paul (2015)
Unintimidated,
by Scott Walker (2013)
A Time for Truth,
by Ted Cruz (2015)
One Nation,
by Ben Carson (2014)
Trump/Pence vs. Clinton/Kaine On the Issues ,
by Jesse Gordon (2016)
Living History ,
by Hillary Rodham Clinton (2003)
Between Hope and History ,
by Bill Clinton (1996)
In Harmís Way ,
by Dr. Jill Stein (2000)
Democrat vs. Republican vs. Green vs. Libertarian,
Four Party's Presidential Nominees On The Issues (2016)
Books by and about 2012 presidential candidates
Ten Letters
about Pres. Barack Obama (2011)
Do Not Ask What Good We Do
about Rep. Paul Ryan (2012)

Book Reviews

(from Amazon.com)

(click a book cover for a review or other books by or about the presidency from Amazon.com)

One Nation
What We Can All Do to Save America's Future
by Ben Carson



(Click for Amazon book review)

    Click on a participant to pop-up their full list of quotations
    from One Nation, by Ben Carson (number of quotes indicated):
  • Barack Obama (1) Democratic President (elected 2008)
  • Ben Carson (7) Republican 2016 Primary Challenger
  • Old Testament (2)
    OR click on an issue category below for a subset.

BOOK REVIEW by OnTheIssues.org:

This book is Carson's policy book written in preparation for the 2016 presidential primary (released in May 2014). Carson has written several other books about his medical history and personal history. This is not even Carson's first political book -- he wrote America the Beautiful in 2012 -- but that was more of a personal introduction whereas this newer book is heavier on policy. Carson organizes each chapter by starting with a Biblical quotation (usually from the Book of Proverbs, which is Carson's daily reading, he says on p. 140), and ends with "Action Steps," which feel more like Sunday School homework.

This book does not show any particular political astuteness -- our excerpts capture the core policy prescriptions and there's nothing too extraordinary. In summary, this is not a great book -- not a "must read" except for diehard Tea Party fan of Carson -- but it does address the core question of why Carson is qualified for the presidency. Hence we will review Carson's view of his own key qualifications -- but first we'll outline the "standard" qualifications that Carson fails to meet....

    Following are the standard qualifications for running for president, with examples of politicians meeting each qualification, alongside Carson's status:

  • Elected to office: Carson has never been elected.
    Examples of others not previously elected: Dwight Eisenhower was never elected until running for President; Arnold Schwarzenegger was never elected until running for Governor.

  • Appointed to office: Carson has never been appointed to public office.
    Examples of those who were: Hillary Clinton (Secretary of State and First Lady); George H. W. Bush (Ambassador to China and V.P.)

  • Lawyer: Carson is an M.D. and points out that five signers of the Declaration of Independence also were (p. xvii and p. 142).
    Examples of elected MD's: Senator Rand Paul (R, KY); Governor Howard Dean (D, VT); but no presidents.

  • Business success: Carson is a financially successful surgeon and writer, but is overshadowed in 2015 by these...
    Examples: Donald Trump (CEO of Trump Enterprises); Carly Fiorina (CEO of Hewlett-Packard);

  • Military success : Carson has no military experience.
    Examples of candidates running for president based on their military experience: Senator Jim Webb (Former secretary of the Navy); Senator Lindsey Graham (Veteran and member of Armed Services Committee).

  • Political organizer : Carson organized the Carson Scholars Fund.
    Examples: President Barack Obama; Green Party nominee Jill Stein (also an M.D.)
Carson hence has SOME of the standard qualifications, but Carson himself describes none of those above as his primary qualification. He describes instead these two qualifications throughout this book:
  • Medical innovator: Carson was not just a successful brain surgeon, but considers himself a scientific innovator (which is the topic of the movie about Carson, "Gifted Hands") -- focusing on techniques to separate cponjoined twins. Rand Paul and Howard Dean, although also medical doctors, never made such a claim.

  • Role model: This is the title of Chapter 15 of this book, and is Carson's claim to voter support. He had humble origins; found reading and found God; then became successful. His claim to being a role model is based on morality and success, as well as innovativeness and as an educator.
Bottom line: Ben Carson's followers are fervent -- mostly in the Tea Party movement -- and this book demonstrates what they see in him, or at least what he thinks they see in him. He is the least "qualified" of the major presidential candidates by traditional qualifications, but in 2016 that seems like a positive attribute!

-- Jesse Gordon, jesse@OnTheIssues.org, August 2015
 OnTheIssues.org excerpts:  (click on issues for details)
Abortion
    Old Testament: Life begins at conception.
Education
    Ben Carson: When you educate a man, you liberate a man.
    Ben Carson: College grads today fail a 6th-grade test from the 1800s.
Foreign Policy
    Ben Carson: America on same bad path as ancient Rome, but we can fix it.
Health Care
    Barack Obama: OpEd: Passing ObamaCare with no GOP caused long-term rancor.
Principles & Values
    Ben Carson: PC police make us afraid to say "Merry Christmas".
    Ben Carson: Five doctors signed Declaration; we solve problems.
    Ben Carson: Our flag symbolizes one nation, under God, indivisible.
Tax Reform
    Ben Carson: God says tithe at 10%; no triple tithe for bumper crops.
Welfare & Poverty
    Old Testament: Those who help the poor honor their Maker.


The above quotations are from One Nation
What We Can All Do to Save America's Future
by Ben Carson.

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Page last edited: Jul 21, 2016