Plenty - The Answer to the Question "What Can I Do to Make This a Better World?"
I just finished the initial recording and editing of this book & this is my brief review/preview for those who may read or listen to it. I auditioned for this book initially because the principle contained in the title strikes a chord with me. I narrate audiobooks in part to make a difference where I can. We live in tumultuous times, and that was before the whole Covid-19 pandemic. I'm drawn to stories, be they fiction or fact, that try to elevate the conversation a little.
This is precisely what Steve Watkins has done with his book, and also on his blog @ swatkinslaw.wordpress.com, which reiterates, or I also imagine, was some of the source material for this book. In The "Plenty" Book, Steve first illustrates what is broken, unjust, or just plain wrong in our (particularly American) society, then presents extensive solutions to heal our society and even our planet. He has worked in socio-political reform as a lawyer for decades & draws on his extensive study into the areas he highlights in this book.
I find many of the solutions he posits particularly compelling. After relating the history of what has brought us to our current crises, he presents solutions that not only he, but many brilliant people have put forth, that unfortunately in the political climate of the last 50 years, are overlooked because of special interests in power & money behind broken systems. Whether or not you or I agree with his solutions, I at least agree that we need to get of our butts collectively and individually to do something about it. He presents more than just the solution to problems, but real ideas for how you and I can get involved.
Some of the ideas in the book may completely rub you the wrong way. Some of them did me. But the way he has presented all of it makes me realize that I need to take an objective look at why I hold to some of the views I have. I make no secret of the fact that I am fiercely independent. Some of the solutions he puts forth definitely have a "Democrat" slant to them, and some of his opinions are quite obviously slanted against republicans, but the book is not meant to be partisan politics or taking sides, but rather about coming up with real solutions. And having read it (and now narrated & edited it), I am excited to do some of my own research into some of the issues he raises. I've already begun on one & in the next week or so will do an extensive blog post on it. Definitely an issue that raises the hackles on both ends of the political spectrum. I will say, there are a couple of times that in his presentation he may offend groups of people. Not intentionally, but its also something that when I've read it, I can't help but think that this or that sentence is going to alienate a certain aspect of those who might otherwise derive more benefit from the book. But... Steve's a human, just like the rest of us. We're all overly opinionated in a thing or two.
Thanks, Steve, for writing an engaging, informative & hopefully transformative book & thanks for letting me be a part of it.