Rediscovering American Values: The Foundations of Our Freedom for the 21st Century by Dick DeVos

Rediscovering American Values: The Foundations of Our Freedom for the 21st Century

byDick DeVos

Kobo ebook | October 15, 2013

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In "Rediscovering American Values," Dick DeVos, a popular public speaker, celebrates the principles that make America great and that shape who we are, how we live, and how we treat each other. Through real-life examples, he offers lessons on how each of us can apply these values in everything we do.Ideals such as honesty, fairness, humility, initiative, service, compassion, and leadership are, he argues, not just a matter of preference but essential to both personal and collective freedom. DeVos relates inspiring stories of how Americans have applied these principles to their lives and dispels the notion that once admired standards have completely disappeared from our society.

DeVos also draws on his own personal and business experiences and those of his father, Rich DeVos, the co-founder of Amway, a company that embodies the rewards of hard work and integrity that are part of the pantheon of American values. These same values were reflected in Rich DeVos's Dutton bestseller Compassionate Capitalism, which has sold over 200,000 copies.

From Booklist:

The point of having values by which you lead your life, DeVos says, is freedom--the freedom to do what you want and also, necessarily, he insists, the freedom to do the right thing. He identifies three sets of eight values that he maintains are essential to--in the words of the section titles--"Upholding Freedom," "Becoming Free," and "Preserving Freedom." All 24 values he discusses are personal in nature; that is, although most are social in their intentions (e.g., reliability, fairness, stewardship, charity, etc.), individual persons, not groups or institutions, must practice them for them to have any effect. Each of the 24 chapters is so directly worded and employs so many real-life stories to illustrate the particular value in action that they bespeak a probable origin in DeVos' public speeches and make the book preeminently readable. Meanwhile, DeVos' assertion of the Christianity he feels undergirds all these values will comfort many readers but, because he never proselytizes or preaches, not put off others who mistrust Christianity. Excellent popular moral teaching.


From Kirkus Reviews:

A successful executive's principled, persuasive pitch for the notion that freedom is anchored in cardinal virtues of the sort that helped make the US a leader among nations. The president of Amway Corp. (a closely held Michigan-based multinational whose annual revenues top $6 billion), DeVos gets down to business immediately, defining liberty as the ability to do what one wants, so long as it's the right thing to do. Dividing his anecdotal text into three parts, he first cites such values as compassion, fairness, honesty, humility, moral courage, self- discipline, and thoughtfulness as laudable means to the desirable end of upholding freedom. In a second section addressing self- reliance, or the frequently difficult job of becoming free, the author commends complementary qualities, in particular, accountability, commitment, cooperation, initiative, perseverance, and stewardship. For his concluding chapters on preserving freedom, he considers broader-gauge attributes, including brotherhood, charity, education, forgiveness, leadership, and service. An unabashed supporter of Judeo-Christian ethics and the golden rule, DeVos is at pains to ensure that readers do not confuse his concept of liberty with license. In his book, freedom involves real responsibilities to one's family, community, country, and fellow human beings. Nor does he engage in extended tirades against government, noting only that ``human dignity is better preserved when we restrain ourselves rather than when we have restraints imposed upon us by laws and law enforcement agencies.' By no coincidence, moreover, the vignettes he employs to illustrate his points attest to the efficacy of individual and grass-roots action. Perhaps best of all, the author manages the near-impossible task of extolling rectitude without lapsing into self-righteousness.

Title:Rediscovering American Values: The Foundations of Our Freedom for the 21st CenturyFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:October 15, 2013Publisher:Renaissance Literary & Talent in Collaboration with ProprietorLanguage:English

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