Wake Up America: The Nine Virtues That Made Our Nation Great--and Why We Need Them More Than Ever

Wake Up America: The Nine Virtues That Made Our Nation Great--and Why We Need Them More Than Ever

by Eric Bolling

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781427280503
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Publication date: 06/28/2016
Edition description: Unabridged
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 5.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Eric Bolling is the author of The Swamp, a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestseller. A native of Chicago, he is married with one son and lives in New Jersey.

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Wake Up America

The Nine Virtues That Made Our Nation Great â" and Why We Need Them More Than Ever

By Eric Bolling

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2016 Eric Bolling
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-250-11252-1



noun \'grit\

(1.) mental toughness and courage

— Merriam-Webster's definition

(1.) an archaic descriptor denoting male-chauvinist microaggression in the form of an oppressive, traditionalist/individualist approach to adversity

(2.) a hardness of character that renders individuals unsuitable members of a progressive, collectivist society

— A Leftist's definition

If your determination is fixed, I do not counsel you to despair. Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed not by strength, but perseverance.


I hate the question, "What's the secret of your success?" There is no secret to being successful. Ask anybody who is successful and they will say some version of the same thing — perseverance, mental toughness, or my personal favorite: grit.

Grit is getting up again and again after being knocked down to continue the fight. Grit is going over, around, or straight through obstacles to reach your goals — no matter how much it hurts to do so. Grit is the power to try, fail, and rebuild yourself in a nation of endless possibilities. Grit is the soul of the American spirit.

But in our society, we value grit less every day. Thanks to radical Leftists, the liberal media, and collectivist stalwarts teaching our kids at all educational levels, "grit" is no longer considered an essential component of success — or of the American character. We value our personal security and our personal liberty, but they're not the same thing. Sometimes, the freedoms we enjoy under personal liberty can shake the foundations of our personal security.

Here's the thing: to be gritty and tough, you have to take risks, and by definition with risk comes the possibility of failure — a lack of security. The grit comes in when you fail, get back up, dust yourself off, and keep trying, as many times as it takes for you to get the job done. That's why grit is such an essential component of the American character. We've always been a mentally tough people — because we had to be. You can't survive slavery or brave weeks on a rickety ship on the Atlantic without some serious grit, folks.

Grit, however, is anathema to liberals. Gritty, free-thinking citizens are harder to control. Oh, sure, liberals love to spout happy talk about perseverance and the American Dream, but they are doing everything they can to make sure there is only one path to this dream: through the government. What they don't realize is that if the government is the way, it actually isn't the American Dream anymore. Because the American Dream is about building something for yourself, not about being handed something by someone else, especially not a bloated, inefficient, deck-stacking government.

Liberals, by nature, just aren't comfortable with risk. The dirty little secret of liberalism is that, at least in today's form, it's not liberal at all. Liberals don't want "liberty." They can't handle the messiness of real democracy in a dynamic republic. Instead of allowing individual citizens to pave their own way in life, liberals want a bunch of technocratic "experts" to decide what is best for the rest of us.

So, it is very much in the Left's interests for the citizenry to be soft, docile, and obedient. That's why liberals have spent decades putting forth what I sometimes call the "softness doctrine," which tells Americans that the ideal person is conformist, collectivist, and in need of government assistance in nearly every aspect of life. Think of the 2012 Obama campaign's "Life of Julia" nonsense as the perfect example. This slideshow tells the life story of the fictional cartoon character "Julia" and how she benefited from a benevolent government literally from cradle to grave.

It's also perfect nonsense. Do you think it was an accident that the Obama team created a cartoon to tell this story? It's fitting that the tale is told in the same media form as a Disney fairy tale, because Julia's life is just as much a fantasy as Cinderella's or Snow White's. It's the Joe Camel of political advertisements.

This is how they spread the "softness doctrine." Our government, media, and academia are brainwashing all of us — especially our kids — into being mushy blobs of fragile self-esteem, all in the name of "progressivism."

As they do with masculinity itself, today's liberals treat grit like an anachronism from a time when people hadn't evolved enough to live in the progressive paradise that they believe is just around every corner. Grit is unnecessary. You don't have to be mentally tough, because if you have a problem, a supposedly benevolent government will take care of it for you — and take care of you.

While this cotton candy philosophy may make sense to sophomoric college students and sheltered media elites, those of us who have fought in the trenches of our own lives, the global economy, and the nation's politics know better. You can't save everyone, and when you try to do so, you end up doing much more harm than good.

This isn't just a social problem — though it most certainly is that — it is also an economic and national security problem. Do you think China and Russia will sit back and let us continue to be the most powerful nation in the world once we're too soft to fight for market share — or even our homeland?

As a nation, we need to toughen up, stop whining, and get to work.


When I was a kid, I loved to ride my bike. I especially loved doing tricks like popping wheelies, skidding, flying off of makeshift ramps — the more dangerous it was, the more fun it was to do. I did it without a parent or other adult supervisor hovering over me, pretending to be a guardian angel. I'll put my faith in God's own angels, thank you very much. Getting to ride a bike was my first taste of true freedom. I could go farther, faster than ever before, and all on my own. On my bike adventures, I was my own master — taking on both the joys and responsibilities that freedom demands.

I bet a lot of folks reading this book could tell a similar story about riding bikes as kids. The speed. The fun. The freedom of it. Juxtapose this freedom with the bike-riding experience of children today. Swaddled in more padding and headgear than an NFL fullback, it's amazing these kids can even get on their bikes, let alone ride them. And when these little plastic-and-Velcro-encased darlings do finally get going on their two-wheelers, you bet your ass they have to stay in specific areas under tight adult supervision. We're so scared of our kids getting hurt, we barely let them out of our sight until they are in their mid- to late-teens.

This is not entirely the parents' fault. Driven by liberal collectivist dogma, as delivered through politicians, activists, academia, and the media, we are taught that we must make our children's paths through life as easy as possible. We do everything we can to expose them to what we consider positive, while avoiding anything negative as if it were a nuclear waste dump full of lepers.

Due to intensive liberal propaganda that has morphed into a bizarre kind of social pressure, parents have taken on "softness indoctrination" like a religion. Before a kid is even born, parents are inundated with a thousand "musts" for being a good mother or father. They "must" take the right prenatal vitamins. They "must" do the right kinds of exercises. They "must" keep calm so their baby doesn't feel any negative emotions through the umbilical cord. They "must" buy the insanely overwrought and overpriced strollers, cribs, and (especially) car seats on the market today if they want to keep their kids safe.

But the real indoctrination begins with the actual raising of a child. Quite simply, we are told to protect our children from everything, and if we don't, we're bad parents. The "softness indoctrination" industry preys on this very real fear that all parents have, especially new parents. It's disgusting, disingenuous, and it's a major reason why grit is being taken out of the American character.

Of course, we all want our kids to be safe, but there is a point of diminishing returns when it comes to safety. If your kids never face any real challenges or dangers when young, they will have no idea how to handle themselves when they face problems as adults. As so-called Millennials join the workforce — the first generation of the ultra-ultra-coddled to do so — we're seeing examples of just how ill-equipped these kids are to handle the rigors of the real world.

Do you think those stories of parents of Millennials calling bosses to complain about something on their adult child's behalf are urban legends? Think again. In July 2015, employee dynamics expert Lisa Orrell, CPC, wrote an entire blog post about how widespread this phenomenon is. Orrell wrote:

In my SEVEN YEARS of being a keynote speaker and conducting workshops for companies about how to better recruit, manage and retain Millennial talent, I've yet to ask this question and NOT get a hand raised: "Who here has heard from the parent of one of your Millennial employees?"

This is especially scary when you consider, as Orrell notes, that by "2025, 75% of the workforce will be Millennials." Will we have "bat phones" from all the retirement communities to all the corporate headquarters in America by then? What the hell are we going to do when these perpetual children are in charge?

As our children age, the "softness indoctrination" continues in school and in sports, and intensifies into a cult of self-esteem: It values self-esteem above all qualities while also taking away the tools for fostering and maintaining it. Today, everybody gets a trophy. We're so afraid of hurting someone's feelings, we deceive our children into thinking collaboration always trumps competition, and that there are no losers in the game of life.

That is why college campuses today require so-called safe spaces for students who feel overwhelmed by ... whatever it is they feel overwhelmed by. It's also why anything that an overly sensitive student finds objectionable — especially in the context of race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation — is called a "microaggression." We're getting to the point where the very sight of a straight, white male is an affront. They even have a term for us average folks: "cis" — as in "cisgender." I'm not sure whether we're supposed to think being "cis" a good thing or a bad thing.

But what else do we expect from an educational system that subverts competition, champions unrealistic levels of collaboration, and neuters male behavior in a constant effort to "feminize" boys and men? We can't be surprised our children are bizarrely fragile — it's what we've been taught to teach them, and what they've been taught, for decades.

All of this combines to create an intense, even crippling, fear of failure in Millennials. And people who are terrified of failure are much less likely to take the kinds of risks that are necessary to grow an economy, build character, and sustain and continue to improve upon a great nation.


I played baseball in high school and college, and was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates to play in their minor league system, but after a shoulder injury ended my baseball dream, I was lost. I went back to Chicago, where I had grown up and my parents lived, to figure out my life. I was broke and needed a job. And I didn't want to be some cipher on the welfare rolls, though that would have been the easiest thing to do.

So you know what my dad did? He didn't have a good cry with me and tell me it was okay to wallow in my own self-pity. Instead, he dropped the classified section of the newspaper on the table with a Mobil Oil ad circled.

The cattle-call job interview was being held at the O'Hare Hyatt, and when the day arrived, I thought I was in luck. A massive snowstorm was pummeling Chicago — typical winter — and I figured most folks would be stuck inside, unable or unwilling to make the trek out to the airport. Maybe, I thought, if I was really lucky I'd be the only guy there!

Boy, was I wrong. When I arrived, there were hundreds at the Hyatt who had braved the weather for a shot at this job. The line wrapped out the door and down the hallway. I waited my turn — patient, but hungry.

When I met with the Mobil executives doing the interview, they had one question. One of the execs held up a Bic pen and said simply, "Sell this to me."

I was stunned for a second. I could see my job prospects evaporating before my eyes. I felt a cold sweat break out and start to trickle down my back. Instead of panicking, though, I cleared my mind for a second — then it hit me. I knew what to do.

I said, "Okay, I'll sell this pen to you. It's a great pen, it lasts a long time, and it's very good for the price, which is fifty cents." Then I added, "But I'll do you one better. I'll sell you three pens for a dollar."

I saw the Mobil guys look at one another and smile. In that instant, I knew I got the job. It was like the great ballgame I played in college that I knew would get me drafted into the pros. Sometimes, you just know.

Of course, at the time, I wasn't sure why exactly they picked me and a handful of others. Six of us were hired out of hundreds of applicants who showed up in the middle of a snowstorm. It was only after beginning the Mobil training program that I realized why I was hired. Mobil is a gasoline producer and marketer. They make more money as their number of gallons sold increases. In other words, they rely on beating down prices to sell more overall gas, just as I had cut down the price of a pen to sell more of them.

I didn't have a clue about any of this at the time, but I learned the basics of how commodities work — and in commodities I would make my name, and my fortune. Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. Even more than that, it's better to be motivated — to have the grit and determination it takes to keep going even after a major failure or challenge. That's what lets you risk crushing disappointment for a chance at major success.


The concept of grit is at the very heart of American democracy, economics, and history. The American Dream itself is an homage to grit: work hard, never give up, and you'll succeed in your endeavors, and deservedly reap the benefits. Ours is a nation hewn out of raw wilderness. We created the greatest system of government in history, twice saved the world from tyrannical domination in the world wars, and then again in the Cold War. We've faced down mighty challenges, all with our gritty, tough-minded determination.

Think about our ancestors. Almost all of us are the descendants of immigrants, whether free or involuntary. In each case, our American ancestors had to endure situations and challenges we'd find almost unbelievable today: cutting roads and farms out of virgin forest, having your spouse or children sold and never seeing them again, braving the angry Atlantic in hopes of a better life and more liberty for you, your family, and your descendants.

We are the children of risk-takers, and have strength of will and character built into our DNA. And it's just these strengths that allowed us to tame a vast wilderness, create the most powerful economy and nation ever seen on earth, and help spread freedom and justice around the world. It's been with us from the very beginning, from the first settlers and slaves up through World War II and the beginnings of the Cold War. It wasn't until the 1960s that the long slide to softness began.

The greatest example of the true power of American grit comes from the man who exemplified the word: George Washington. Though we tend to think of Washington today as a stiff, refined figure — which he was — we cannot forget that the formal face Washington put on in public was backed by an absolutely iron will and determination to see his countrymen set free of the yoke of British tyranny. One could argue that it was his sheer grit that defeated what was then one of the world's great superpowers.

Lost in the mists of nostalgia is the fact that Washington endured numerous failures before finally turning the tide of the war and bringing about its successful end at Yorktown in 1781. In fact, the war itself could have been lost in the first year or two if it weren't for Washington's gritty determination. After being appointed commander in chief by the Continental Congress, Washington rushed to Boston to take over command of the ragtag band that made up the Continental Army.

After successfully driving the British from Boston, however, Washington smartly figured out that the British would try to capture New York City next, so he quickly moved his men south. Washington's army was defeated, though, and forced to abandon New York, and then suffered a series of defeats as they were steadily driven into New Jersey. Finally, Washington was able to cross the Delaware River and bring his men (and himself) a brief respite.


Excerpted from Wake Up America by Eric Bolling. Copyright © 2016 Eric Bolling. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

1. Grit
2. Profit
3. Manliness
4. Thrift
5. Individuality
6. Dominion
7. Merit
8. Pride
9. Providence

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Wake Up America: The Nine Virtues That Made Our Nation Great--and Why We Need Them More Than Ever 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Young people especially need to read this book to see how our freedoms are slowly being taken ftom us by the liberal left
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you're a conservative you'll love this book. If you're a liberal you'll more than likely have a good cry. This conservative loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thank you for putting this book together. I felt like a bobblehead, nodding so frequently. Mr. Bolling writes in a concise way and packed a lot of ideas backed up by facts.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Should be read by all
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would love to read it again
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent Book....I knew the left was ruining this country but it's certainly more apparent after reading this book..Eric Bolling and I have the same perspective on our country if it gets in the wrong hands of the wrong leader...hopefully others will open their mind and their eyes before it's too late
Sally777 More than 1 year ago
I love watching Eric Bolling on The Five and when he's a fill in for O'Reilly. I am so excited about his book! I am buying it next time I'm at B&B. He always debates honestly and people who don't like him or his show are just lefties who love Obama & Hillary and are not going to listen to anything other than leftist con-artist, lying, betraying, Ambassador killing, email deleting elites. Keep up the great work Eric and I can't wait for the next book as I am sure this one is going to be a best seller!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hopefully some of the safe space mellenials out there will read this. Great reminder of where we come from as Americans.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great read..... But the left has already ruined the nation... the question is... can we come back from their stupidity ?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
off setting the review some else who didn't read the book left -
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read! Thank you, Eric.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This guy is just another RIGHTwing IDIOT Leave it to the Republicans to once again start bashing. Can we ever just get along or meet in the middle?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anyone with half a brain knows fox news sees only what they want. I have never considered that station to tell you honestly they give you their biased views and make it sound like they know what they are talking about NOT......
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is an absolute joke.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He has no clue what makes America great. Over paid fox news pusher.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All been said before by better authors
Anonymous More than 1 year ago