The Fight of Our Lives by William Bennett and Seth Leibsohn is not only a reflection on our country’s failures in the war on terror but also an attempt to formulate some strategies for victory. The opening chapter is focused on the Fort Hood massacre that happened in 2009. The use of this incident, and other terrorist attacks, as case studies becomes the framework for the rest of the book. What happened? How did American respond? Why did we respond in that way? How should we have responded? These are some of the questions that Bennett and Leibsohn seek to answer in this book.
As a reader I typically don’t pick up political books but I am very glad I gave this one a shot. This book is well written and it doesn’t lose the reader in complicated political jargon or policy. Bennett and Leibsohn also make an effort to be as even-handed as possible in their critique of American policy makers. It seems that the modus operandi of many conservative writers today is to simply take aim at President Obama and cast as much blame on him as possible. The Fight of Our Lives is not one of those books. There is a fair amount of criticism of the current administration but Bennett and Leibsohn are more than willing to critique past ones as well, Republican or Democrat.
Perhaps the one thing that I would point out about this book, over and above anything else, is that it was quite eye-opening for me. For instance, there is a partial transcript of Attorney General, Eric Holder’s testimony before congress regarding the attempted bombing of Times Square by Faisal Shahzad. In it he refused to use the term “radical Islam” to describe one of the potential motivations behind the bombing. This just goes to illustrate the lengths to which we will go in America to appease our enemies.
The book is well researched and documented, and Bennett and Leibsohn are careful to backup any claim they make. Overall, The Fight of Our Lives is less an attack on radical Islam and more of a call for Americans to stand up against the watering down of our own philosophy and, what the authors call, our “political religion.”
So, even if you are like me and not a political book reader, I would recommend The Fight of Our Lives. This is no “hate-mongering” diatribe. It is a well researched, level-headed and an easy to read and comprehend book on a very important subject.
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