Gratitude: Reflections on What We Owe to Our Country

Overview

William F. Buckley, Jr., "Mr. Conservative," believes that something must be done to revive our youth's indifference to today's government and politics.

In GRATITUDE he offers a plan for universal voluntary national service for men and women 18 years of age and older. Here are his suggestions for how such a program might be structured and administered; on the inducements and sanctions appropriate to its realization; analysis of the benefits, material and spiritual, that would ...

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Overview

William F. Buckley, Jr., "Mr. Conservative," believes that something must be done to revive our youth's indifference to today's government and politics.

In GRATITUDE he offers a plan for universal voluntary national service for men and women 18 years of age and older. Here are his suggestions for how such a program might be structured and administered; on the inducements and sanctions appropriate to its realization; analysis of the benefits, material and spiritual, that would come to those who serve; and an idea of the benefits to those who are served.

"After a decade marred by greed and self-indulgence, this book, in reminding us of our obligation, is a national service." (The New York Times)

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Should young people be conscripted by the government to perform one year of nonmilitary service in environmental projects, in teaching, drug education, snow removal, community outreach and the like? A national-service bill now before Congress would mandate such a program. Conservative pundit Buckley strongly favors a voluntary national-service system supported by incentives (e.g., tax credits for participants). In a blueprint that raises more questions than it answers, he argues that such a program would enable volunteers to fulfill the debt they owe to past generations while molding their character and binding them to civilization. (Oct.)
Library Journal
There is a growing debate in the United States as to whether the young should be encouraged or even compelled to give a year of ``national service'' to help the nation cope with its social problems, e.g., health care and illiteracy. While not advocating compulsory service, Buckley does argue that the young should be encouraged, through various rewards and sanctions, to give a year of service out of gratitude for civil liberties inherited and protected. While the idea seems to have merit on the surface, criticisms (cited by Buckley) that it smacks of totalitarianism, as well as the question of how this would be paid for on top of the national debt and the savings & loan crisis make the idea less attractive. An intriguing essay; recommended for academic and public libraries. For more on this topic, see Charles C. Moskos's A Call to Civic Service (Free Pr., 1988) and Richard Danzig and Peter Szanton's National Service (Lexington, 1986). Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/90--Jeffrey R. Herold, Bucyrus P.L., Ohio
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780517091043
  • Publisher: Random House Value Publishing, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/15/1992

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