Niagara Falls Reporter: Republic review

Republic book coverPulitzer Prize winning journalist John Hanchette (named by Gannett as one of the top ten journalists of the last decade) has just written a truly wonderful review of Republic.

Here’s some excerpts.  You can check out the full review at the link above. Hanchette writes:

With the Fourth of July just in front of us, this might be a good time to take a look at a startling new book coming out the middle of next month. There’s a ton of buzz on the Internet about it, and even in this era of functional illiteracy it has a chance of attracting national attention. It might even focus needed discussion on a stark, unthinkable subject many of us, conservative or liberal, are jittery about but usually avoid exploring in discussion or print:

At times — at least for those of us who read and think instead of watching the boob tube and gorging on vapid celebrity trivia — our beloved United States of America seems to be in danger of coming apart at the seams….

Sheehan-Miles, in his mid-30s now, comes from a military family. His father served in Vietnam, and his late grandfather, Pvt. Fred Harrison Miles, captured by the Japanese on Java shortly after World War II began, spent more than three years in enemy prison camps as a member of the “Lost Battalion.” He died in 1971, the same year the author was born. “I wish I had had the opportunity to know you,” writes Sheehan-Miles in the dedication….

Sheehan-Miles, already a good writer, has improved his impressive style in this following book. He can change scenes seamlessly, move characters about in time and place without confusion, and he writes sparse, clean narrative sentences that have powerful verbs and a paucity of adjectives. You care about his characters. As mentioned above, the blogosphere has gone wild over this book already, with postings by writers who have sampled chapters on the author’s free podcasts (www.sheehanmiles.com) — and many bloggers zero in on the favoring-the-rich angle.

One writer — posting last week as “stonemason” — notes that rich corporate heads are “fleeing for the hills” and their remote newly built hideouts, both foreign and domestic, “because of the credit bubble and the monster of a government which will take over things once it bursts.”

Stonemason accurately observes that under Patriot Acts I and II, “many archaic asset confiscation laws have gone into effect for, of course, anyone the state might deem an enemy, and the rich see things coming.” He also notes that rural states such as Montana already host new, ultra-secure compounds for the likes of Donald Trump, Bill Gates and Henry Kissinger, and that American millionaires now comprise about 10 percent of Costa Rica’s population.

Pay attention to this new book. It’s a book about how rapidly things have changed for us all, about how we live, about our motives, and about the motives of those who govern us. A lot of thought went into it. It might scare you into doing something productive for the nation, and for your future.

I’m honored to have received such strong feedback from a writer of his caliber.  Thank you.

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