You Might Want to Pass on This One

I received a copy of this book from the Library Thing Early Reviewer Program in return for a review.

The Fight for Freedom          by Marcus Ferrar

Non-fiction is also great and becomes more interesting when events somewhat familiar to the reader are examined. This book is up to date enough to note opening of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba.

Which does not mean that just because something is non-fiction that it is good or credible. If I had not accepted a copy of this book in return for a review, I would have abandoned it half way though….at the latest.

This is a difficult book for me to review because it attempts to be so comprehensive in its coverage. There are so many parts and statements with which I disagree, but that does not go to the question of the value of the book. Ferrar gives us the purpose for the book when he writes (This book) “does not purport to be a comprehensive history of the fight for freedom, which would stretch to several volumes. It gives an overview of the struggle in a few hundred pages, and focuses on a few individuals who have distinguished themselves in the modern times.” (Kindle Locations 62-64). Ferrar fulfills his purpose.

I recommend this book be used in a carefully constructed survey course about freedom. This book would be one of several; the others would be chosen to focus on some of the complex issues that were glossed over in this book. It has value at grade levels eight and nine in a US high school. To be used in a curriculum, a knowledgeable teacher would be necessary to point out some of the inconsistencies that result from generalizing about such a vast temporal expanse of history.

Therefore, the book comes with warnings: Use cautiously, read at your own risk, and don’t accept a lot of these assertions as fact.

Perhaps because I am a student of history and political science, this book provided no (as in none or zero) new information for me. I was dismayed by the idea that a reader might finish the book and think they knew a lot of stuff about a lot of things and therefore did not have to do any more reading. That is why I included the warnings above.

The bibliography was good. Readers should select some books in their area of interest and do follow-up reading. My Kindle edition book has 141 cites notes. I would never cite the Encyclopedia Britannica, but that was the author’s choice.

The basic tenet of the book is that people, everyone, wants freedom. It is the central motivator for a person’s actions. Ferrar then goes on with specific instances, stories of specific personalities, to support his case. The specific examples are fine; it is the generalizations drawn from his chosen specifics that give me problems. But, as he writes, “that would stretch to several volumes.” (above)

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