Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Book Review: 'The Liberal Record: Everything You Need to Know' by Marcelo Brazzi
California author Marcelo Brazzi earned his degree in systems engineering from the University of California and served as a spacecraft engineer on NASA’s Apollo program. He has been a computer science instructor at California State University, and has enhanced his perspective of the world through his extensive travels, and as a photographer of total solar eclipses from such vantages as Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Everest.
It would be difficult to imagine a more appropriate time for this insightful book about political dysfunction in America to be placed before the electorate! Marcelo Brazzi leads the charge to correct the status quo of our two party system and in doing so, provides an illuminating dissertation about government rule, historically and currently. The tenor of his messages is well set in his Prologue, in which he state, ‘It is safe to say world history before the twentieth century is not well-known. There seems to be little appreciation of how we have progressed form the world of illiteracy to the magical world of DNA, democracy, and drive through wedding chapels. The historical record is one of humans constantly seeking to improve their freedoms, their standard of living, and true justice. The leaders of this intellectual and cultural revolution were explorers, scientists, writers, entrepreneurs, and social liberals. For the past 400 years, humanity has been on a slow but relentless migration from the old conservative world of kings and slaves to a world of liberties and popular rule. This book sheds light on how we got here.’
And with that pungent prelude, Marcelo discusses how we view political candidates and the parties they represent – how dysfunctional that electoral system has become as a struggle between social conservatives and social liberals. Historically, Republicans were liberals while today they are social conservatives, and the liberal stance has been assumed by Democrats. Yet he adds, ‘Much of the public no longer knows what the words conservative and liberal mean. All they know is what they hear on biased talk radio or TV, which has no interest in being accurate and objective.’ And those sources include Twitter, Facebook, Google and Yahoo! News, Local TV… etc!
Brazzi sets out to inform the reader about the schisms in our democratic system by guiding us through a significant tour of history, enhancing his points of observation with scientific concepts, psychological impediments, and dictionary definitions. It all works splendidly well as a wake-up call for the need to truly understand politics and the impact our intelligent and informed votes can make. The degree of documentation and extensive appendices is most impressive! This book is not only illuminating as a resource for assessing our political system; it is also an enriching – and entertaining – honest guide that posits the then need for, and possibility for, change. Very highly recommended. Grady Harp, November 19
SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.