A Book Worth Reading #2

Weekend before last we had sunshine and warm, almost summer like temperatures. I took advantage of the sunshine and took a new book out to the back yard to do some reading. I've been reading a lot lately, one of the few benefits of having a broken foot. Here is a picture that sums up the day... a hard cider, a good book, a close to blooming lilac bush and sunshine. It was a great day, in part because the book was so great!

Standing Up To The Madness: Ordinary Heroes in Extraordinary Times by Amy Goodman and David Goodman was actually sent to me via the publisher so it was a special surprise. I didn't even seek this book out and yet it found its way to me. I like the idea that books I'm suppose to read find their way to me.

I found Standing Up to be inspiring and maddening. Inspiring in that the pages and stories they contain are proof that people still make a difference in this society, and maddening in that the stories in this book are even necessary. Stories like that of Raed Jarrar, a US resident, formerly from Iraq who was taken off a flight from NYC to Oakland because a shirt he wore had the words "We Will Not Be Silent" in English and Arabic. The shirt was produced by an anti-war group and is the slogan of The White Rose, the anti-Nazi group famous for publishing anti-Nazi material during Hitler's reign of terror. The airline ended up purchasing another shirt for him from a gift shop and forced him to wear it in order to fly that day. Makes me want to put on the same shirt and fly, and yet because my skin is not the same color it probably wouldn't be an issue.

The book details the stories of normal, every day people who stood up the government and won. People who had the courage to say "this is not right" and preserver. In today's political climate that's not always the easiest thing to do.

I will say that the book is decidedly liberal. Being a super bleeding heart liberal, I didn't take issue with that, and I found that the Left Wing was held accountable in some areas too, but it's still a very liberal book. If you love Bush, The Patriot Act, and don't believe that global warming is a real issue you're not going to enjoy this. I'd still encourage you to read it, if only to remember that movements by people no matter how large or small are still happening in our country and they are amazing, no matter your political belief. In the same breath I want to say that it's easy to bash the Bush administration, but this book isn't just about that. Yes there is criticism, but the focus of this book is the movements people made to fix and or challenge what was wrong with that administration and other facets in our country that needed help. It's about the people who make the effort.

I am always moved by people who start grass roots organization and set out to make this country a better place. To read about high school students willing to stand up to a school administration when they were being censored makes me smile. To know that they fought to be the voice of Iraqi Veterans made it that much more moving. Reading about the devastation of Katrina and those still working in New Orleans to clean up, rebuild and support a community that slipped through the slippery hands of our government was inspiring. It's easy to forget that areas ruined by Katrina are still suffering and trying to rebuild. You don't see it on the news now. You don't see the stories of those people who stayed and fought to keep their city. There are so many more stories contained in these pages. It's pages and pages of pure inspiration and you don't find that often.

If you want to read a book that reminds you of the goodness in the human race read this book. If you want to feel positive about things happening in this country read this book. If you want news worthy stories that are actually positive, read this book. Just read the book!

No comments: