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What's So Great About America

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  1,145 Ratings  ·  134 Reviews

With What's So Great About America, Dinesh D'Souza is not asking a question, but making a statement. The former White House policy analyst and bestselling author argues that in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, American ideals and patriotism should not be things we shy away from. Instead he offers the grounds for a solid, well-considered pride in the Western pillars of

Paperback, 240 pages
Published May 27th 2003 by Penguin Books (first published March 25th 2002)
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Dylan Manfredi
Sep 03, 2015 rated it liked it
After finishing Whats So great About america by Dinesh D'Souza I had noticed a claim he failed to adhere to. The idea that he was acting un-biased. Let me explain. D'souza claimed he was trying to address both points and act as unbiased as possible towards the many topics. He showed a very conservative bias and while I can agree with many of his point he was very quick to gloss over important details to more liberal claims. An example of this would be when he was addressing how the Muslims extre ...more
John Martindale
The following are a few reflections I had from the first section of the book, where D'Souza writes about Western colonialism.

Plenty have embrace the belief that the West is the root of much evil; that it was the Western Colonialist that impoverished the rest of the world; pillaging, raping, conquering and enslaving the innocent nations of the world and enforcing western culture on them. They believe the West is rich only because it exploited, enslaved and stole it's wealth from the rest of the w
Jul 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essays, history, politics
"America is the greatest, freest and most decent society in existence. It is an oasis of goodness in a desert of cynicism and barbarism. This country, once an experiment unique in the world, is now the last best hope for the world."

One of my favorite quotes about America. D'Souza's quote sums up his feelings about his adopted country, and what makes it so great.

This book is clear and poetically written by a man who immigrated to America with his family and has sought out what's best about it, u
Dec 31, 2008 rated it really liked it
Dinesh D'Souza has written a powerful and well-reasoned defense of America and Western civilization. He takes on objections and criticisms from all ideological corners, such as liberals, conservatives, and Muslim fanatics, and answers them all.
In the introduction, D'Souza compares the American situation - facing an implacable foe in a war against terrorism - with Athens facing the Spartans. He quotes a funeral oration by Pericles. The parallels are striking. Some examples from Pericles' speech:
Feb 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
The United States really is different than all other countries. Whether it is foreign policy, economics, or culture, the USA stands far apart from the rest of the world and industrialized countries.

Dinish D'Souza, an immigrant himself, shows why such differences matter and what makes the United States the first choice of immigrants around the world. A must read for anybody who has lost sight of what makes this great country of ours so unique and special.
Jan 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I'm not usually a non-fiction lover but I found this book to be really interesting. It helped me understand a little about why people in other countries feel the way they do about America. It also reminded me about the reasons for my patriotism and taught me several more reasons to be grateful I'm an American.
Debbie Brown
Mar 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This book was completely different than I thought it would be. It is an immigrants perspective of America. It was very interesting. The author is very knowledgable and well read. I didn't fully understand everything, but I got the general idea. It made me think.
Jul 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
America bashing is more popular today than ever! Sometimes it helps to flip the coin and look at what this country does, on a daily basis, that no other nation in existence can do. This country certainly has it's issues just like its citizens, but it is still the greatest nation on the face of the earth. This is the kind of stuff that needs to be talked about MORE, not less.
Nov 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
This amazing book who,s author was born in india and is a naturalized citizen,describes what the qualities america has that makes it great. This book could have a bore,however,using humor and parables form his own experience its a real treat and learning experience.
Feb 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite books, from one of my favorite authors. Like the way this book made ME think, "What's so great about America????"
Dec 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
I really liked this book. Quick read, and timeless actually, which surprised me. Good observations and especially since he's an immigrant. Good writing, good points, honesty.
Dec 10, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: politics
This book covers a lot of the same ground as Neill Ferguson's CIVILIZATION: THE WEST AND THE REST, only it's much less of a slog. Born and raised in India, D'Souza gives a lot of weight to commonly heard criticism regarding the American way of life but ultimately feels that America has been unfairly vilified in the minds of many. This book is a defense of American culture in general, as well as an exploration of the ideals upon which the country was founded.
Jan 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This nonfiction book is about how the author puts forth that America is great, and supports it with critical writings and his own experience. I liked how the author supported his arguments with relevant and memorable examples. I did not like the book's middle part very much, because I found it confusing.
Aug 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
I recently finished Dinesh D'Souza’s book "What's So Great About America", a book which looks at America past and present and does so with a sense of history and moral clarity which is sorely needed in our day and time. It has become increasingly popular in recent decades for the political left to point to every real and perceived sin committed by America in order to advance the idea that America is no better than any other nation, or worse, that America is actually a force of evil in the world. ...more
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
What’s So Great About America? It’s a question that’s become increasingly relevant in the 21st century, and political commentator/bestselling author Dinesh D’Souza has the answer. An Indian immigrant, D’Souza brings a unique perspective to the debate over American Exceptionalism and the immigrant experience. He examines the claims of multiculturalists that American/Western culture is no better than any other, along with the charges made by Islamic fundamentalists that America is a corrupt and de ...more
Sep 05, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Kathy by: required reading for American Government course
Shelves: political
As an individual from India who came to the United States in the 1970’s, Dinesh D’Souza feels that he is an ideal person to present the case for what is great about America.

When D’Souza states, “Islam and Christianity clashed not because they failed to understand each other, but because they understood each other perfectly well” he is speaking of the similarities between the two religions. Both religions are monotheistic and both hold that their religion is the one true and universal religion.
Sep 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
This book explains why America is exceptional, in a very simple and interesting terms. Because in reality it is very simple. D'Souza presents the fundamental origin of the difference between Western, Christian values and those of Islam. My thinking had never gone that far and this was a real eye-opener. If high school students were to read this book and discuss in a classroom setting, it would affect the course of the nation, I think in a good way.
Vincent Kathreen
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very good book with many good points. Does help to explain why many people hate America, while wanting to come to America. It also helps to explain why the left in America have a self loathing attitude, and enjoy the benefits of being American. Good book and an enjoyable read.
Sep 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I look forward to reading more of his books, including "What's so Great about Christianity?"
Chris Noonan
May 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Read in high school and was totally enamored with it.
Janey Mack
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A clear and concise presentation of why America is truly the greatest country on earth. Patriotism should be embraced. Thank you, Mr. D'Souza!
Mar 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
“The West is a society based on freedom whereas Islam is a society based on virtue.”

“The procedural liberalism that we are so used to invoking – which presupposes that liberal mechanisms like free speech and equal rights are the best way or organizing society – is ineffective against those who do not believe that these are self-evident goods and who insist that religious truth and virtue have higher claims.”

“Both on the verbal and math section of the [SAT:], Asian-Americans and whites who come f
Alicia Duff
Jul 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sociology
In the first chapter I was automatically interested in the book. Dinesh D’ Souza discusses how Islamic radicals view Americans. This group of people have an intense hate for others and it's deeply seated in their religious beliefs. Dinesh goes on to explain how the Islamic religion has been exploited and become a tool to attack America. Islamic radical believe there can only be Islam, all non–followers are infidels. It’s very different in the Middle East; there is no room for any other religion ...more
Alexander Fitzgerald
Sep 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
I'm a huge D'souza fan, especially because he's a CONVICTED FELON. You have to yell that last part and enunciate it slowly apparently. The Young Turks do nothing but, so I assume that's it's correct pronunciation.

Broken laws in campaign finance aside, which Obama I'm sure had no hand in processing, D'Souza's been one of the most influential writers I've ever read. An Indian immigrant who has taken what he wanted from the American dream, D'souza has a welcome ability to make sense. He is also a
Aug 28, 2012 rated it liked it
I almost didn’t make it through the first chapter of this book, because it felt like the author was dismissing the criticisms of the United States and American culture without taking them seriously. However, I’m glad I continued reading. The author comes back to many of the points he dismisses in the first chapter and, largely, addresses them in a meaningful and thoughtful manner. Overall, he makes a pretty strong case for the merits of American culture and power, suggesting that Americans shoul ...more
Nov 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing

D'Souza starts What's So Great About America with a thorough indictment of America. In a 30 page chapter entitled "Why They Hate Us" he honestly and thoroughly lays out all of the arguments about why America is reviled by so many. By the end of the chapter the reader begins to wonder if there really is anything so great about America.

The balance of the book is spent answering every charge leveled in the first chapter. I have rarely read a book on contemporary politics in which I ag
Nov 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
It's a shame that Dinesh D'Souza has fallen into a scandal in the past couple of years. Up to the point that he disappeared from public discourse, he was one of the best conservative commentators in the country. I would place D'Souza in the company of Dennis Prager, Jonah Goldberg, Michael Medved and Bill Bennett as the most articulate conservative commentators today.

In this work, D'Souza tackles the arguements against what opponents refer to as "American Exceptionalism". D'Souza begins the work
Nov 07, 2007 rated it liked it
so i know every liberal hates dinesh d'souza, probably because he's one of the smarter, more level-headed conservative writers out there (he doesn't really couch his argument in that "left vs right" dichotomy as much as most of his other political brethren on both sides of the aisle do), but he still makes some astoundingly ridiculous claims in his books. hey, colonialism wasn't all bad - india's economy has been able to grow and prosper in an increasingly westernized world. while even claiming ...more
Proud to be an American

Most Americans grow up proudly believing that America is, has been, and will always be the greatest country in the world. "What's so Great About America" is an insightful novel illustrating the reasons, background, and history that truly makes America one of the greatest countries ever. Dinesh D'souza gives a resourceful, educating history of America to give the reader somewhat of a foundation and a trust in America and what he has to say. D'souza entrances the reader wi
Bojan Tunguz
Apr 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
In the aftermath of 9/11 a lot of ink was spilt on trying to understand why America was attacked and how do America's enemies perceive this nation. Amidst all of the soul-searching a new theme had gradually emerged especially on the intellectual left: America was attacked because America is an awful country that has always been doing a lot of bad domestically and abroad. In words of one infamous preacher, America's chickens had come home to roost. And yet America to this day attracts more volunt ...more
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Dinesh D’Souza is a political commentator, bestselling author, filmmaker and a former policy analyst in the Reagan White House, Dinesh D'Souza graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Dartmouth College in 1983. He served as John M. Olin Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and the Robert and Karen Rishwain Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. D'Souza writes primarily about Christi ...more
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“It is easy to forget the cohesiveness of a free people in times of peace and prosperity. New York is an extreme example of the great pandemonium that results when countless individuals and groups pursue their diverse interests in the normal course of life. In a crisis, however, a national tribe comes together...despite the centrifugal forces that pull us in different directions, there is a deep national unity that holds us together.
Unity, however, is not sufficient for the challenges ahead. America also needs the moral self-confidence to meet its adversary...Americans cannot succeed unless they are convinced of fighting on behalf of the good.”
“The free society does not guarantee virtue any more than it guarantees happiness. But it allows for the pursuit of both, a pursuit rendered all the more meaningful and profound because success is not guaranteed: it has to be won through personal striving.” 1 likes
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