Promises Betrayed

Promises Betrayed

Waking up From the American Dream

Book - 2005
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The award-winning New York Times op-ed columnist probes the widening gap between American ideals and American realities, and urges us to do something about it Bob Herbert is the conscience of the op-ed page of The New York Times , and his work is characterized by a strong moral vision and a deep understanding of the human costs of political decisions. From partisan politics to popular culture, from race relations to criminal justice, few journalists bring to life so movingly the stories of ordinary people caught between the American dream and American realities. Whether it is the inherent injustice of the death penalty or the demagoguery of the war on terrorism, Herbert questions whether we are truly upholding our ideals or merely giving them lip service.In Promises Betrayed , Herbert makes the case that in recent years America has too often failed to live up to its creed of fairness and justice in the lives of working people, racial minorities, children, and others not among the powerful. He introduces us to real people facing real problems and trying to maintain their dignity along the way, and he blows the whistle on imperious public officials who think the rules of common decency do not apply to them. Herbert's tenacious reporting has resulted in the overturning of many wrongful convictions and the release of dozens of innocent people from prison. In these and so many other ways, Herbert keeps us all honest and lives up to the journalist's credo: to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.
Publisher: New York : Times Books, c2005
ISBN: 9780805078640
0805078649
Branch Call Number: HN59.2 .H47 2005
Characteristics: xiv, 353 p. ; 25 cm

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oldhag Apr 30, 2012

A slightly dated compilation of columns written between the late 1990s and 2004. Herbert's concluding chapter asks, "What Kind of America Do We Want to Live In?"
"Is it to be a country in which the government claims the right, in the name of national security, to incarcerate people indefinitely, in secret, without charge, and without the right to legal counsel?"
President Obama has answered that affirmatively.

General Omar Bradley, a hero of World War II, delivered a speech in Boston in 1948 that is remarkably appropriate for the violent and chaotic world of today. 'The world has achieved brilliance without wisdom,' he said, 'power without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical midgets. We know more about war than we know of peace, more about killing than we know about living'."

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