Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Book Review: The Last American President

Searching For Our Ideal Leaders, Becomes A Search For Our Ideal Government

Reviewer's Note: I rarely consent to writing book reviews of novels. Mostly because novels take a great deal of personal commitment and if the first 2 chapters don't capture my interest, then neither the author, his publishers, my readers, nor I will be happy with the review or the effort spent to write or read the review, much less the novel.

  Author, Richard Engle, takes us from the the very beginning of a young man's pure and earnest desire to be a good leader; and gives us the hope that such an American still exists

  Alan Cassell is the young man who gets elected as a county commissioner in Crawford County, Kansas. Mostly, the content citizens are delighted at the youthfulness of this recent college grad from the local Pittsburg State University. The novel starts with his clumsy but lucky effort to capture the heart of a Wichita girl who recently dazzled the judges to win the title of Miss Kansas.
 The young couple truly become the ideal political dream that every political handler hopes will come along in their lifetime. Most handlers just settle for inventing this narrative, but one County GOP chairman actually found such a candidate, and got to shepherd him, every step of the way.

  As Alan Cassell and his glamorous "girl next door" wife capture the hearts of Kansas and become their youngest occupants of the governor's mansion, we see the power of the simple concept of returning government to the most local levels.  The absence of power-grabbing is a refreshing tone and Kansas state government shrinks while her citizens are liberated from the bondage which had slowly crept in over the previous decades.
Cedar Crest - The Kansas governor's mansion
  When Alan's instincts lead to a heroic incident captured on live television, the national media falls in love with the "boy wonder" and his fashion-model wife. The next GOP presidential nominee taps into his natural skills as a national campaigner. While the national ticket loses that race, the pundits are already dreaming of the prospects of a president who would just barely meet the 35 year old age requirement.
Author, Richard Engle
  Two years later, global financiers and political strategists launch a secretive plan centered around this young governor, and he knows next to nothing about who is really setting him up to win the presidency. But his campaign platform remains his own core convictions. Local governance, less federal controls.
  The globalists see his platform as a pipe dream which they never really expect to have to deal with; but it will sell to the GOP electorate so they go along with it, in the campaign. Money flows in to his team at record rates and his opponents never stand a chance against him.
  But his financiers have their own agenda....

Messages of the book

  While I've given away half the sub-plot of this book, I've only hinted at the major plot and Richard Engle's driving purpose for writing this book. Richard is a multi-talented businessman, educator, civic leader, and political scientist. He uses fiction in a way few educators appreciate the power of.
   While CS Lewis and his literary mentor, George MacDonald, used the medium of fiction to preach powerful sermons on theology, discipleship, and prophecy; great political thinkers of today have totally forgotten the power of the political novel. Other than Rush Limbaugh's "Rush Revere" series, and Glenn Beck's couple of novels, little else is being done to impact this market with the liberty message.
  The subject of true patriotism is the greatest issue where Engle "rattles our cages". He challenges us to refocus to a greater object of our devotion; not to governmental institutions, but the the people we collectively are. He challenges us to see government as once again "our servant", rather than as our master. And he shows us a vision for how to accomplish that reform even though it may terrify many of us.

Final thoughts..

  To be quite honest, I am in awe of Richard Engle's skill at writing this novel. He next project; Escape To Manitoba, will be eagerly awaited. I am grateful that Engle reinvigorated my optimism about the medium of novels as a way to inspire readers about subjects like liberty and civic reform.... real reform.
David Van Risseghem
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1 comment :

  1. Hoping to pick up an autographed copy at the state convention in April!