Friday, November 27, 2020

Book Review: Around the World in More Than 80 Days by Larry Alex Taunton

In this engaging and thought-provoking political travel memoir, author, columnist, and cultural commentator Larry Alex Taunton seeks to answer the question: is America truly great when measured against the rest of the world?

To answer this question--and others related to it--he and his son Zachary travel to six continents and twenty-six countries. From the hyper-capitalistic countries to the hyper-security conscious countries, from those steeped in occult practices to modern and prosperous countries and more, this provides a glimpse into these countries from the comfort of your own home. 

Each chapter of Around the World in More Than 80 Days opens with a quote, the most meaningful for me as a reader headlining the Epilogue, "America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great." This quote is from Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America. An excellent selection considering how it continues to resonate today as much as it did when it was originally stated. 

A glossy, full color insert includes over two dozen photographs from the author's near two-year journey to explore national greatness. I am so glad this was included, as it puts faces to these travels.

In the end, you will need to decide if you believe, as the author does, that America is the greatest country in the world.

I found much to enjoy in Around the World in More Than 80 Days. As a lover of history, this exploration reminds the reader of many of the truths about how America and its society has developed as a result of historical events; events that cannot be wiped out by apologizing for them or by trying to eradicate evidence from public view. This book focuses on the freedoms America provides its citizens, even those that we aren't always responsible with, as compared to what others experience around the world. As the author states, he can't ignore America's sins nor airbrush them out, but there are countries out there that don't acknowledge wrongdoings because they don't believe in the unalienable rights of their citizens. America, warts and all, is still a place people yearn to immigrate to. 

Around the World in More Than 80 Days by Larry Alex Taunton is a fascinating story surrounding one journalist's desire to answer a question the nation has been struggling with for decades. His travels provide a fresh and much-needed perspective. 

Hardcover : 336 pages
ISBN-10 : 1642935921
ISBN-13 : 978-1642935929
Publisher : Fidelis Books (October 27, 2020) 

I received a copy this book from the publisher. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

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