Reader Views Reviewed by Carol Hoyer for Reader Views (7/17)
“American Stew” by Stephen James is a thought provoking book that addresses the mentality of America that is toxic, destructive, and causing anxiety and unhappiness to all citizens. Events such as 9/11 and numerous wars, racism, and the race for world power have all played a part in its demise.
Although the author does not address political corruption and failure in length in the monologues in this book, readers should take this into consideration. There is a lot of discussion on unwanted wars, alcoholism, torture, and generic issues. Readers already know something is gravely wrong in our world today, so why not discuss it in detail? What is the comparison of these issues with other countries? How do others that have some of the same issues handle it or try to find a possible solution?
“American Stew” is well written with facts, statistics, and plenty of examples throughout the book, but what this reviewer did not see was any solutions or possible solutions. The author provides some great food for thought, however, it seems through his aggressive writing there is only one way to think and that is his way.
In one chapter, the author delves into why we as individuals in American might have lost hope. He relates that “powerful forces are aligned against change and will ignore, marginalize, and appease anyone trying to implement it.
James addresses individuality and how people make the choices that ultimately define us. We say we are a democracy, but at the same time we ignore the reality of the government we have in place. We accept political corruption, lying, and stealing by many individuals in our government to include the White House. The author makes a great point when he says socialization is necessary and we are all responsible with our group, but we must at some point take a step back and have a reality check. Are we satisfied with how things are going or are we just being compliant and letting someone else make all the rules? Do we really believe if we just follow like sheep that everything will work out and we will end up with power, fame and wealth?
Usually in these types of books, readers are the ones who agree with the author and his/her views, but what about those who have no clue or choose not to have a clue about what is going on and how it impacts them?
“American Stew” by Stephen James is an interesting read. While it lacks in possible solutions and can be one sided, it should make readers take a hard look at what they believe.