Where America believed, America achieved."" Rep. Shuster (R., Pa.) begins his paean to America-the-undervalued with a...

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BELIEVING IN AMERICA: Why We Can Feel Good About Our Country

Where America believed, America achieved."" Rep. Shuster (R., Pa.) begins his paean to America-the-undervalued with a recollection of trudging through the snow, as ""an eleven-year-old lad,"" to present local congressman Weiss with a memento of his Jewish-immigrant father--a shaving mug salvaged from Shuster's grandfather's barbershop. Awed by the encounter, Shuster had proclaimed ""to the stars"" his intention of being a congressman. In that square-shouldered, misty-eyed spirit, and with scorn for the ""negativists,"" Shuster first reviews the heights and depths of 20th-century American history--""What was right was taken for granted, what was wrong was magnified""--and then surveys the state of the nation today: ""the good so vastly outweighs the bad that America stands alone--preeminent."" On the plus and minus sides of the ledger, he enters a few items from his congressional experience: 16-year-old Helmut Kohl's gratitude for a CARE package (""he never forgot that his first suit came from America""); the ease of bribing ""a Soviet officer,"" in East Berlin, with Pepsi Cola. (He also explains why, as GOP Freshman Class President in Watergate-1974, he withheld criticism from Nixon.) Things fall apart under Carter, with Khomeini and ABSCAM, Three Mile Island and Love Canal; Reagan's election is the reversal. Thereafter, we're told why people are better off than they think and the economy is in better shape than it seems. We're assured of the technical superiority of US arms and warned of Soviet aggressive intentions. We're reminded--indiscriminately--of ""the land's magnificent diversity,"" ""the revolution in physical fitness,"" and ""the explosion of education."" Patriotic rhetoric, bald optimism, and sheer guff.

Pub Date: April 15, 1983

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Morrow

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1983