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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Book Review: From Hope to Higher Ground

From Hope to Higher Ground is a review of Mike Huckabee's career as Arkansas Governor and a sort of explanation of his positions on a various issues.  Published in 2007, this book is fairly current on political issues and prepared the way for Huckabee's eventual presidential candidacy.

To be open and honest I will admit that I like Huckabee and would possibly select him as a potential President. Reading this book didn't change that position.

I was perhaps a little disappointed with this book.  The subtitle is 12 STOPS to Restoring America's Greatness, and that really caught my attention, because it isn't as negative sounding or something like "My 12 Steps to Success."  But I was disappointed in the content.  Besides the first and last chapters (maybe the last 2) the book really read more like a narrated resume, than a political manifesto. 

Drawing on his 10 and a half years as Governor of Arkansas, he details his policy successes at that level.  Although he rarely draws them to experience at the national level.  If you are interested in an autobiographical book about Huckabee, this would be an excellent selection (although I'm doubtful that was his main intent). 

Using From Hope to Higher Ground is a little bit of a play on words, since he is from Hope, AK, but he does make it quite clear that his HOPE is more of the religious kind.  This quote clarifies that (pg 34):

Hope motivates differently. More a slow burn than the explosion of fear, hope provides a sustained drive and determination for the long haul. It is the marathon instead of the sprint.  Hope is that deeply rooted conviction that even after a hundred failures at trying to ride a bike, it's worth it to believe that the 101st attempt will be successful.

Overall Huckabee keeps a positive spin on politics and ends each chapter, and ultimately the book with a challenge to take action, to make a change.  Huckabee's 12 STOPS are:

  1. STOP Being Cynical
  2. STOP Thinking Horizontally
  3. STOP Cheating our Children
  4. STOP the Culture of Chronic Disease
  5. STOP Abusing Our Planet
  6. STOP the Revenge-Based Criminal Justice System
  7. STOP Robbing the Taxpayers
  8. STOP the Heat and Turn On the Light for Hot Issues
  9. STOP the Loss of America's Prestige at Home and Abroad
  10. STOP Moving the Landmarks of Liberty
  11. STOP the Loss of Good Jobs and the Erosion of Agriculture
  12. STOP Being a Selfish Citizen

Each chapter ends with a list of 12 actions to take around that topic.  Here is a list of 12 (one from each chapter):

  1. Don't believe bad reports without documentation
  2. Tip waiters and waitresses generously
  3. Volunteer to help out in at least one school activity a year
  4. Eliminate processed sugar from your diet as much as possible, if not totally
  5. Walk or bike whenever you can
  6. If you know someone whose child has a drug problem, ask them to share their story as parents
  7. Volunteer in a campaign
  8. Read C. Everett Koop and Francis Schaeffer's Whatever Happened to the Human Race
  9. Eat at International House of Pancakes (just kidding--wanted to make sure you were really reading the list!). [His words not mine]
  10. Monitor your children's Internet activities
  11. Contribute to a scholarship for a student to attend college
  12. Call an old friend from high school to catch up.

If you are still reading this long book review here is a quote for all the blogosphere to really love!

It will require more than the shouting matches on the cable networks; more than clever monologues on talk radio; more than hours of phoned-in hysteria or blogs of emotional and irrational ravings from people with more time on their hands than information in their heads. (pg 177) (emphasis mine)



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