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The True Patriot
 
by
Eric Liu
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The True Patriot

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  103 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Over the course of a generation, patriotism in America has been hijacked by the right and abandoned by the left. But the principles and values of true patriotism – country above self, contribution above consumption, stewardship over exploitation, freedom with responsibility, purpose through sacrifice and service, pragmatism, a fair shot for all – are inherently progressive...more
Published (first published December 18th 2007)
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Elaine
Oct 10, 2008 Elaine rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: every registered voter in America
Recommended to Elaine by: Barnes & Noble
This was a good read. I will admit that I didn't agree 100% with everything... and there were even some big words used that I'd never seen before, so it was a little above my vocab level... LOL! But, I did enjoy the book--it was inspiring and I wish more people (politicians in particular) would give it a read and indulge in some self-reflection. You can actually read the book for free on their website: http://truepat.org/bookreader . They wrote the book as a pamphlet, so they really want to get...more
Sean
Part of my my New American Idealism, because I'm 100% committed to the ideal of "liberty and justice for all," and the proposition that all people are created equal and endowed with inalienable rights. These ideals and principles are central to my conception of what America can and should be. I reserve the right to be critical of this country, its citizens, and its leaders when it falls short of these ideals and when it acts contrary to these principles. This is not a lack of patriotism; it is p...more
Akbar
I liked the premise- that patriotism is love of country and concern for its well-being, so dissent shouldn't be confused for disloyalty or weakness. However, the book got a little ahead of itself with its rhetoric. It's a call to arms for progressives, so it was bound to turn me off when I disagreed with any of its positions. I gave the book credit because it addressed a problem that has pushed the progressive movement to the fringe of society, and because it got me thinking about a few issues(s...more
Erika RS
This slim volume -- the authors call it a pamphlet -- has as its goal to show that true patriotism is progressive, and the left has just as much claim to the term as the right.

This premise is intentionally provocative, but the content itself is reasonable and well thought out. The authors define their own view of what a progressive, morally founded patriotism would look like and, while I can quibble with the details, their vision far exceeds the milk sop that comes from the too-flexible seeming...more
Benson
Jun 29, 2008 Benson rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: American citizens, by birth or by choice
Recommended to Benson by: My Mom, Holly C. Metcalf
The timing for reading this book is obvious, but what is not so obvious is that this book is written by a couple progressives who I don't easily identify with. I really liked the intent of the book and for the most part I thought the content was great as well. (Sometimes I think they took some shots at conservatives, but that's fine.)

Anyway, it's a quick little read (130 pages) and I think you'll appreciate the concept of the book: pull together some of the most inspiring words of America's lead...more
Colin
An awesome little book - booklet, really - containing a number of primary documents on what has made and what makes America great (quotes from the Declaration, Gettsburg address, Roosevelt's four freedoms, etc), thoughts on progressive patriotism, and ten principles of progressive patriotic values:
1. American exceptionalism
2. Responsibility for the common good
3. Equality of opportunity
4. Patriotic capitalism
5. Mutual obligation
6. Service to Country
7. Stewardship
8. Common sense virtue
9. Tolerance...more
Heather Denkmire
If everyone in the country read this book, we might be able to hear each other. Though it's so clearly, openly, and honestly from the "progressive" tradition I can see the Libertarian types seizing up and not being able to process the content without resentment.

Sometimes it was "preaching to the choir," since I agreed with every word. But I think if liberals/progressives/confused people read it they'd understand how it's a powerful thing to love our country instead of feeling ashamed of us.
Tyler Hill
A quick read, and engrossing little manifesto, though your mileage will vary depending on how much you agree with the politics and positions put forth in it. But, I'd highly recommend it for anyone who considers themselves a Progressive or Liberal (like me) who beleives that Patriotism is more than slapping an American flag on our car bumper, shouting "support the troops" while simultaniously engaging in selfish individualism.
Rebecca
A fantastic book that really encouraged me to think about - what it is to be a patriot in our country. I have seen Eric speak and feel strongly he and the co-author do their best to tell the story of patriotism from both partisan angles. It was a quick read that left me wanting to have the conversation with others - what does patriotism mean to you?
Jen
Great bedside book. Put it on your nightstand and just digest a little at a time. Watching the John Adams miniseries on HBO got me interested in looking back at how the founding fathers viewed the issues that we are wrestling with today, and this is a great companion piece to that. Great for anyone who is looking to become a more informed citizen.
Matt
A refreshing pamphlet, in the style of "Common Sense," that liberates the notion of Patriotism from Neo-Conservative flag-waiving and chest-thumping, and asks us to embrace a new progressive patriotism as a means for restoring America's standing in the world and renewing our commitment to the ideals upon which the nation was founded.
Gretchen
I really "got" this book. It is an important message and update in civics for Americans of all ages and regardless of political leaning. I'd love to share a copy with every one I know. to that end, you can access it and read it free on line: http://www.truepat.org/book/read - or like me, get it from your local library.
Chuck
Useful good read about how progressives should and can take back the issue of patriotism (sadly, the Valerie Plame case on its own wasn't enought)and use it to win. Also available here: The rue Patriot
James
Kind of disappointing. I agree with all the points the authors make, but there's no new ground being explored here; Nat Hentoff was writing about these issues a generation ago, and this slender (heavily padded, but still slender) volume is pretty much Mom-and-apple-pie stuff.
Matt
A doctrine or manifesto on patriotism, this pamphlet lays out a case for progressives to take back the mantle of patriotism that conservatives have owned for the past 40 years, and may explain to some degree why Obama is so appealing beyond the liberal democratic base.
Beverly
This is a very small and susccint and insightful pamplet ne book to offer another suggestion for true citizenry. The writers are both Progressives however they are pragmatist first and foremost. A quick read with some very powerful but simple ideas.
Phil
Everyone should read this little book. Like Thomas Paine, his intellectual and spiritual predecessor, this book seeks to enliven the debate about what it means to be an American.
Emily
this should be required reading before anyone is allowed to vote in the current election. everyone on my christmas list will be getting a copy. love reading and rereading it.
Jodi
Great pieces of wisdom, loved the slant of the two authors, appreciated their quest for real patriotism, and liked what they came up for their moral code. Highly recommend.
Jj Gufreda
Really good book for anyone frustrated by the current American political environment. Intelligent and reasonable.
Patrick Bair
Excellent. Everyone should read. One of two Liu books I gift to my favorite young people.
Sara Sheehy
I enjoyed the historic speeches and writings the most.
Matt Schlitz
Matt Schlitz marked it as to-read
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“Our gross national product, now, is over eight hundred billion dollars a year, but that GNP--if we should judge America by that--counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for those who break them. It counts the destruction of our redwoods and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl. It counts napalm and the cost of a nuclear warhead, and armored cars for police who fight riots in our streets. It counts Whitman's rifle and Speck's knife, and the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children. Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages; the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage; neither our wisdom nor our learning; neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country; it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile. And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans.” 0 likes
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