Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Sarah Palin: America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag

America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag is the second book by Sarah Palin. It was released on November 23, 2010, and has been described as containing selections from Palin's favorite speeches, sermons, and inspirational works, as well as vignettes about Americans she met in the fall of 2009 while on her book tour for Going Rogue: An American Life. One million copies will be printed for the first run, and a digital edition will be available on the day the book is released. She embarked on a 16-city book tour in America's "heartland" that began on November 23, 2010. The book made number two on the New York Times best seller list during its second week of release. Human Events magazine describes the book as patriotic and optimistic in tone and as bringing life to words from historical figures such as Ronald Reagan, John Kennedy and Abigail Adams. Townhall columnist Katie Pavlich recommends the book to "any American who believes in faith, family, love of country and even history". She describes the book as having a personal touch but as emphasizing faith-guided conservative principles much more than Palin's earlier book, Going Rogue. Amanda Marcotte's review in the Guardian claims that America by Heart is divisive and succeeds in "stoking the feelings of resentment in her target audience against the usual cadre of villains," while containing a subtext which implies that white fundamentalist Christians are the real Americans and that America is the only nation with the right to having feelings of "exceptionalism." The New York Times says the book is full of the patriotic reflections promised by the title, but it is also a road map to the political attacks Palin would make on Barack Obama if she were to run for U.S. President in 2012.

Pre-publication controversy: Several days before the book's release, the website Gawker published excerpts in which Palin criticized Levi Johnston (the father of her grandchild), the TV show American Idol, Hollywood filmmakers, Michelle Obama, Barack Obama, and the Obama's former pastor, Jeremiah Wright. Palin, who was described as angry about the leak, posted the following message on her Twitter page: "The publishing world is LEAKING out-of-context excerpts of my book w/out my permission? Isn't that illegal?" Within 48 hours, Palin's publisher had sued Gawker for copyright violations and had obtained a federal court order requiring Gawker to remove the material from its website, despite Gawker Media's claim of fair use. The American Spectator called the legal action a "huge victory". On November 20, 2010, Palin published her own "Exclusive Sneak Peek" of the book on her Facebook page. On the day the book was officially released, The Guardian printed extracts from the book on American values, criticism of Barack Obama and his health care legislation, criticism of Levi Johnston and the younger generation.

A paragraph from the new Sarah Palin book on American values: Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States when men were free.

Excerpts written by Sarah Palin in America by Heart, regarding Barack Obama: Too often we hear from the left a different spin on American exceptionalism _ a view that America is somehow worse than other countries, that it is hypocritical about its ideals, falls short of its responsibilities and is forever in need of correction. This has been the main thrust of President's Obama's speech on the world stage since assuming office in January 2009. [...] Take the recent health care debate as an example. The folks pushing President Obama's government health care bill seemed to think that we could be bought. But when we say we believe that our rights are God-given it means something. Those words in the Declaration of Independence are sacred: government can't legitimately violate or add to them.

"Still, I don't think it's an accident that the opponents of this new American awakening so often accuse Tea Partiers and others of being racist. For one thing, it's a guaranteed conversation stopper. Just saying the word racist instantly ends any legitimate debate. Just the accusation gives the accuser an excuse not to debate the issues at hand." - Sarah Palin, in America by Heart

From Sarah Palin’s new book, America By Heart (available free with a subscription to Townhall Magazine), comes out today, and any American who believes in faith, family, love of country and even history, will enjoy reading it. Just by taking a look at the cover, Palin is adorned in flags, clearly representing the pride she has for America. Palin’s first New York Times Bestseller, Going Rogue, gave us an idea as to who Sarah Palin is, where she comes from, where she grew up, how she was raised, the feeling of moose eyeballs and of course, the 2008 Presidential campaign. Going Rogue allowed us to get to know Palin on a personal level without the political hoopla. America By Heart emphasizes everything personal about her first book and touches on many of the same topics such as becoming a mother, guiding Bristol through her teenage pregnancy, Alaska, but it reflects much more heavily on conservative principles guided by her faith in addition to historical references dating back to Roman times, JFK putting a man on the moon, Martin Luther King Jr., Ronald Reagan bringing down the Soviet Union and of course modern American politics.

From the National Review, by Kathryn Jean Lopez: Sarah Palin’s new book, America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag, is out today. It’s a good book that reflects exactly what people like about her — her passion for (as it happens) family, faith, and flag. Palin has always been good at highlighting good things that might not otherwise get national attention, and she certainly does that in this book. She praises “unsung heroes” like the Catholic women religious Sisters of Life, “whose members not only pray for the protection of human life but do the hard, selfless work of caring for human life. They help mothers have and raise their children, and they counsel and comfort those who have made decisions they regret.” Speaking of regret, she also mentions, “a safe, nonjudgemental place for women and men who are troubled after their own abortions or those of someone close to them. It’s beyond politics or proselytizing, place that honors the legacy of feminists such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony by helping women heal.”

The Christian Science Monitor said this about the book, upon its release: Sarah Palin has a new book out Tuesday, and so far it’s fulfilled one of its main purposes: keeping her in the news. The substance of “America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag” – sure to be a best-seller, as was her first work, “Going Rogue: An American Life” – is not surprising. She goes after President Obama, the first lady, the Attorney General, and pretty much anybody in the Obama administration who’s ever talked about race in America. She compares Mitt Romney to John F. Kennedy and finds the former president wanting. She likes hunting (“I eat therefore I hunt”), “American Idol” judge Simon Cowell, and movies with "submersive moral messages," such as “Juno,” “Knocked Up,” and “The Forty-Year-Old Virgin.” Not so much Levi Johnston (the father of then-teen daughter Bristol’s baby), John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign advisers, or the press – referred to as “the media beast.” Then there’s “the shameful tendency on the left not simply to declare their opponents wrong, but to declare them evil.” Much of what leaked out about the book was posted on – at least until Saturday, when a federal judge ordered the excerpts scrubbed from the site as a copyright infringement. (Gawker retaliated with a page called “Sarah Palin Is Mad at Us for Leaking Pages From Her Book.”) According to publisher HarperCollins, Palin’s new literary effort “celebrates the enduring strengths and virtues that have made this country great,” while “ranging widely over American history, culture, and current affairs.”

Comments about in America by Heart about Levi Johnston, father of Bristol's child, Tripp: Of course, we all had to bite our tongues - more than once - as Tripp's father went on a media tour through Hollywood and New York, spreading untruths and exaggerated rhetoric. It was disgusting to watch as his fifteen minutes of fame were exploited by supposed adults taking advantage of a lost kid. [...] But we knew him well enough to see how confused he was during that time, and our hearts broke for him and the price he would pay.

Sarah Palin's comments in the book about the youth of today: In fact, we may be creating a generation of entitled little whiners. I came across an article that reported how growing numbers of employers today complain that many young job applicants exhibit all the signs of having been, there's no other word for it, spoiled. These young people feel entitled to jobs and salaries they haven't earned.

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