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The Italian Tribune, October 19. 2023    Reprint from Off the Book Shelf

This thought-provoking book by J.D. Nardi addresses the changes and challenges that this country faces as we look towards the next presidential election. In short chapters, each that begins with the “Where Do You Stand,” the book addresses important questions such as the America First, Cancel Culture, Immigration, Sanctuary Cities and the Supreme Court; more than two dozen topics are covered.

On the basis of the historic two-party system of the United States, the author presents the facts from the opposing sides. Rather than Democrats versus Republicans, the book addresses the views of progressives versus conservatives. As one might imagine, that could create a polarizing book, but since it is written in a non-apologetic manner, presenting the points made by both sides, it is very compelling. Facts are laid out while personalities are ignored and it is left up to the reader to draw the conclusion, namely – where do you stand?

The issues that are brought up by the author are familiar ones to those who follow the news and have paid attention to current events. For such readers, there is a wealth of information to support the conclusions they have drawn in their minds or the ache that they feel in their hearts. For those who have avoided news topics or have been satisfied by social media snippets, reading the book may elicit pain. They are likely to become uncomfortable when presented with the facts surrounding topics like climate change (by the way – it does not spell doom for all of us in the coming decade). Such readers may also be disappointed to learn that recent rallying cries and movements such as Black Lives Matter and Defund the Police have wrought extraordinary damage and division within this country while helping virtually no one.

For those who are proud to proclaim that they are progressives, reading “Where Do You Stand on America” will be enlightening. There is no chapter that panders; there is no chapter that sugar coats the facts and there is no chapter where ignorance is given a free pass. Those who embrace an informed stance on issues will find it a difficult book to put the down and this is true in equal measure for both traditional Democrats and Republicans. The cohesive presentation within each chapter provides compelling reasoning. Additionally, the 5” by 8” size of the soft-bound book makes it easy to carry around, should the reader wish to cite facts or debate content with others.

You will find any number of chapters that elicit powerful emotional responses. Critical race theory and the concept of equity will divide readers. The same can be said for the chapters on diversity versus meritocracy and gender ideology. It is incomprehensible that individuals will not have strong feelings about these topics, but when presented with the facts and background, will one’s views be amplified, questioned or perhaps even changed?  Not all of the questions are difficult ones, but each is important in context. Family, religion, education and the United States Constitution are fascinating topics when contrasted from the two differing standpoints. Even a topic such as electric vehicles, which is not likely to be a tremendous point of controversy, is laid out in a balanced manner, but one which will still stimulate thought and discussion.

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