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Reviewed by Marta Tandori for Readers' Favorite
While the book is called The Evolution of the United States of America, its subtitle, The Rise and Fall of a Nation, more succinctly describes the bent behind author Richard Castagner’s literary offering. The book is divided up into various sections: the prehistory of the U.S. between 30,000 B.C. and 1400 A.D.; the early history of the U.S. from the late 1400’s to the early 2000’s; the U.S. in the last 50 years; the U.S. at a crossroads; the future of the U.S. and the author’s conclusions. Castagner touches upon some hot issue topics such as the healthcare system, gun control, education, religion, as well as providing a brief commentary on citizen character and morality, family and marriage, parenting, entertainment and Hollywood, multiculturalism, crime and illegal immigration, to name but a few.
Although the book purports to be an analysis of the major changes in the last 50 years, Castagner peppers his overview with more than his fair share of personal beliefs in statements such as: “The female power movement has also been a disaster to the nuclear family and to the health of our democracy. The last two generations of children are growing up rudderless in terms of the requirements of being a good, educated citizen … Decent societies begin with decent homes and strong families; the goal of parenting is to produce moral, well-adjusted young adults.”
The Evolution of the United States of America covers a lot of ground in a relatively short book, and it reads far less like an analytical overview of the rise and fall of a nation as it does a personal commentary or essay. Part of this stems from the passion behind Castagner’s rhetoric. While you may not buy into everything the author says, there’s plenty there that gives food for thought. This is a “broad strokes” kind of book that attempts to cover a lot of ground and, while far from being an analytical overview, it is one man’s thought-provoking personal commentary on a country in crisis that is sure to leave its readers with a heightened awareness of the grave issues facing the United States both today and heading into the future.