Sunday, October 30, 2016

Book Review: It Takes a Village

A few months ago, I checked out It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us, by Hillary Clinton from a local library.  I decided to read the book because I figured my best bet on persuading myself to vote for Donald Trump would be to become thoroughly appalled by Clinton's way of thinking.
It takes me a long time to finish a book when I'm reading it just because I dislike the author.  And It Takes a Village was anything but a captivating thriller.  The only thing making me excited to flip each page was the prospect of being that much nearer the end.  

That said, I did not notice a single typo or grammatical error.  The quality of the book is befitting a First Lady.  Clinton addresses the challenges she believes children--and those who care for them--face in modern life, and presents solutions for parents, schools, neighborhoods, and the nation.

Throughout the book are stories from her own childhood, Bill Clinton's childhood, her time raising Chelsea, the lives of her parents, and the lives of various people she has met.  She also frequently quotes prominent psychologists, researchers, and public figures.

I found myself agreeing with Clinton on the relevance of many of the problems she presented.  The research and facts presented are interesting.

In short, she talks about the things we all think are important in raising children.  Where I differed with her was generally not on the problems, but on the solutions.  She believes the government should do more to solve the problems of society and help parents, to improve children's chances of being raised "correctly."

 My own view is the government should do less.  If the government can't do a good job running itself efficiently, how can we expect it to do a good job helping us run our families?  Why would we want it to?  Some people do need help.  But providing that help shouldn't be the role of government.
My conclusion?  Hillary Clinton probably is an excellent and informational grandmother, and perhaps would be a good community organizer, social worker, or counselor for troubled mothers.  But I would not choose her as Commander in Chief. (Though at this point perhaps we do need someone versed in psychology to lead our nation...)

I'm not sure if reading this book was worthwhile for me.  While I didn't enjoy it, it didn't appall me quite as badly as I was hoping it would.

"I wrestle nearly every day with the biblical admonition to forgive and love my enemies."
--Hillary Clinton, It Takes a Village (1996)
I wonder how she's doing on that one this election!

20 comments:

  1. I think children and animals can teach us a lot. All we need to do is to open our hearts. Well done on the review, Bethany.

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    1. I know I'd trust our loyal farm dog over many humans. And Jesus said, "Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven."

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  2. The cover is nice... Just wish the book was more interesting ♥

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    1. I guess the harder it is to get through a book, the greater the achievement is to finish it. :D

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  3. Transferring power from parents to the government is not my idea of raising children. I enjoyed reading your review.

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    1. Ahh...well, if only we would let the government take the children into state-run preschools at the tender age of two like the French do (as mentioned in It Takes a Village) and leave them in the care of experts, they could learn Newspeak proficiently and correct/report us for all our thoughtcrimes.

      Glad you enjoyed the review.

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  4. I think she has switched position on a number of issues since she wrote this book.

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    1. Most notable of issues she has changed positions on would probably be traditional marriage/LGBT rights. It is almost surprising that Bill Clinton was the one who signed DOMA!

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  5. Oh, my word. This woman and her views are completely appalling to me. It is one thing to proclaim how the government should help children. It is quite another to talk out of the other side of one's mouth declaring unborn babies have no rights and then to stand in the face of God and the Christians of our land and declare to defend Planned Parenthood, knowing they continue to rip babies from their mothers' wombs, even when the babies are within days of being born. It would be a terrifying thing to me to know she is the one who wields the power to choose Supreme Court justices who would perpetuate the promotion of what God calls abomination and the killing of millions more innocent, unborn babies. Laura Lane had a post on her blog that articulates the burden on my heart much better than I can. In case you care to read it, here is the link: http://harvestlanecottage.blogspot.com/2016/10/election-2016-christians-dilemma.html God bless you, dear Bethany. :)

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    1. Thanks for the link to Laura's post. I think Christians do have a tough decision this election. Listening to Secretary Clinton defend partial birth abortion(!) in the last debate, really made me want to vote against her.

      However, Trump doesn't really take a stand for traditional marriage. Yesterday, he unfurled and waved a rainbow flag with LGBT written on it at one of his rallies. And his personal life isn't anything to write home about either. So I don't really *want* to vote for him either.

      But if you can do it, I applaud you. I recall the words of John Adams, quoting Marquis Beccaria: "If I can but be the instrument of preserving one life, his blessing and tears of transport, shall be a sufficient consolation to me, for the contempt of all mankind" For that reason, I could be persuaded to vote for Trump...but still I struggle with indecision. Would Trump actually protect the lives of the unborn? Many Republicans have promised to and done nothing.

      I think the happiest outcome for me would be if I voted for a third party and Trump won. :) Oh well, may the Lord bless me (and all of us) with wisdom this election! Take care, Cheryl!

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    2. I think this really is what it boils down to for me this election: the way it seems as though neither candidate will support a pro-life stance. I don't want it on my conscience that I voted someone in to office who accepted or approved of a murder of children. I think we all need God's blessing of wisdom at this time. :)

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    3. Trump *currently* has a pro-life position. In the last debate he said he'd choose justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade.

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  6. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, Bethany. I agree, the less government does in people's lives is better for all.

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  7. I like that you're willing to read this book, Bethany, especially because it doesn't align with your views. We all have a difference of opinion, and we're all allowed that. However, not everyone will listen to a different point of view (or in this case, read about it) and simply agree to disagree. That's something special. When we listen, we learn about each other, understand what makes someone else tick, perhaps even find ways to work together, discover solutions. And that's never a mistake. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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    1. I've certainly been getting an education this election by listening to all sides. But today I responded to a political phone survey, and it seemed most of my answers were "I don't know," "undecided," and "none of the above." Anyone reviewing my responses would think I pay no attention to politics... In this case, maybe Aristotle was right when he said, “The more you know, the more you know you don't know.” It just seems we really aren't seeing the full picture yet.

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  8. "While I didn't enjoy it, it didn't appall me quite as badly as I was hoping it would."

    BA HA HA HA!!! What a testimony to her ghost author's good work. :)

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    1. Heh, I'm sure this review was the kind she just loves to receive... :)

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  9. Hi Bethany, I applaud you for reviewing this book, especially at this moment, and especially knowing your political preference. The older I get, the more I dislike politics. However, I still have to be grateful for living in this country where we, the people, can vote our choice. Right now I’m looking forward to getting this election over and moving ahead with whoever the American people choose. I’m going to be old fashioned (again) and throw my support behind the winner. By the way, I want to thank you for your comments about my “Closing Thoughts” on my blog. One that comes to mind today is, "You're either part of the solution or you're part of the problem." - Eldridge Cleaver. I think just about all of us will agree we have a problem, so I’ll try to be a part of the solution by supporting our winner. Thanks, Bethany, for another fine post. Wishing you a good weekend ahead … don’t forget to “fall back” with your clocks on Saturday night. :-)

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    1. I was impressed by the sportsmanship displayed by Clinton in her very gracious concession speech. Clinton's speech nearly had me in tears... she handled herself well after what must have been a crushing disappointment.
      Have a great week!

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