Item description for Letters to a Young Victim: Hope and Healing in America's Inner Cities (Free Press Paperbacks) by Steve Forbes & Armstrong Williams...
Overview One of America's leading black conservatives writes a series of impassioned letters to a young African-American man, arguing that individual involvement, not government intervention, is the key to solving the devastating problems so many communities are experiencing. Reprint.
Publishers Description In this tough-minded and inspirational book, popular syndicated radio and television talk show host Armstrong Williams offers possible solutions and hopeful words to a community in crisis. In a series of letters to a young black man called Brad, a drug dealer and murderer seeking to transform his life, Williams applies the lessons he learned growing up on a farm in Marion, South Carolina, and, later, working in Washington's corridors of power to find answers to Brad's problems and the difficult questions facing Americans today, especially young black men.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.56" Width: 5.52" Height: 0.32" Weight: 0.37 lbs.
Release Date Oct 19, 1996
ISBN 0684824663 ISBN13 9780684824666
Reviews - What do customers think about Letters to a Young Victim: Hope and Healing in America's Inner Cities (Free Press Paperbacks)?
Articulate and Candid Jan 10, 2001
Mr Armstrong has written a very good book about the average so-called "ghetto" African-American young man. The subject of his book is a 29 year old black man named Brad. After introducing you to Brad and the circumstances in his life, Mr Armstrong, thinks about his encounter with Brad and then writes a series of letters addressing Brad and his condition. That condition and the many problems in Brad's life are what makes this book so interesting.
This leeter format, where we encounter one topic at a time, in a personal letter, opens up the issues on a down to earth style. Not everyone will agree with Armstrong's insight and perespectives as to Brad's diagnosis of the "black-man's" condition in urban America, but the insightfullness is bound to stir dialogue. Most liberals will outright dismiss this short work with straw men attacks and Ad Hominums. Don not be fooled by such silly and distorted speak. Instead, read this book for yourself and wrestle with these issue.
It is time the African-American community as a whole see a different view about the dangers hurting their own people.
The Perception of Modern Victim-hood Jan 4, 2001
This book is well written, easy to read, and interesting. Please disregard Ad Hominem reviews that slander the auther without seriously engaging his message. The book is not a detialed analysis of social problems and it isn't intended to be. It is addressing that African-American urban culture has relied extensively on the idea of victimization.
Most of this book is done with each chapter being opened in a letter format as he writes to us by writing to a young black man who considers himself to be a victim of, well - just about everything. The young man doesn't see how he is responsible for many of his criminal and immoral behavior. This letter format is effective and if people can, for a moment put aside their biases, maybe they willlearn something or at least, understand a different perspective on the issue.
One does not have to agree with all of Mr. Armstrong's points to fully grasp that he is addressing a very real problem amoung young black men. This book accomplishes exactly what it is suppoosed to do - engage us as if we are involved in the discussion.
Ridiculously ideological and illogical book Jul 13, 1999
Here we have an interesting pair. First, we have, on the right, multi-millionare(if not billionare)Steve Forbes, who favors a flat tax of 17%(in which a poor person will pay at the same tax rate or lower as this rich guy does!). On the far-right, we have the infamous Armstrong Williams, who served so nobly as a clerk for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who is just about the only "contribution" which the Republican party has done for African Americans(I use the word "contribution" liberally - very liberally). I come from New York, New York. For the past 25 years, I have served at a local Baptist church as both a decaon and an Associate Pastor. I am proud to say that our place of worship, which continues to grow, is racially and economically mixed. I am a happily married man(for 30 years married!)and have 5 great kids - including a grandchild on the way. I was also a proud labor union member(as was my father and his grandfather) and an active member of the NAACP, the Anti-Defamation League and the Democratic party of New York. Thus, I know something about the 'private compassion' which these two ideologues want. Yet, I also know about the public good which is necessary. I know this from my fellow Christians and New Yorkers and Americans. I know this from common sense and past experience, including my 5 years in the U.S. Army.
What do these two right wingers do when they combine to speak to our nation's hurting ghettos? Well, they speak to hurting souls not from their well-off souls, but from their ideologies - far right wing ideologies, which state that government has no business to regulate its economy in favor of the masses, and that government has no right to aid the destitute and poor. They claim religious values of God and church, family values and patriotism, all while they aim to repeal the safety net for widows and the poor, cut tax rates for the wealthy(in the vain hope that these funds will "trickle down" upon the ghettos), hurt the poor through deep cuts in social programs and hurt families in the process.
Yes, Forbes and Williams do have some decent suggestions which, by themselves, need help anyway. Their call for individuals(regardless of their race)to embrace religious and family values is a great one. Yet, why can't government help, if what government does is so right? Why is "welfare" so great for Steve Forbes' rich friends and yet it is destructive(in any form to these Republican ideologues)to the poor? Why can not a poor black family in the ghetto expect from their government a Minimum Wage, good health care, a guaranteed job opportunity through a public works program and public education? Why not incorporate the greatness of Forbes' and Williams' cherrished Bible into our welfare state? That is, why not continue to embrace compassion in the welfare state while reforming it and not trashing it as these two right wingers do?
These two push the theory that government can do nothing right. Yeah right! What about Soical Security, Medicare and Medicaid? What about Head Start, Student Loans, scholarships, civil rights guaratnees, environmental and consumer protection and Legal Services? What about public broadcasting? What would we do without labor protections like the Minimum Wage, the right to form a union and the 40 Hour Work Week? How about child labor? How about housing? How about defense and the GI Bill? How about Affirmative Action(sorry Justice Thomas!)? What about aid to the poor in general? Yet, forget this compassion and progress, these two Republicans state in this book, what the ghetto needs is more "personal resonsibility." Yet, what about the "personal responsibility" of the corporations which these two want to shield from law suits from decent consumers? What about the "personal responsibility" of the rich which will be gone under Forbes' flat tax?
Forbes and Williams had better wake up - the problems of the ghetto are, yes, moral in nature, as are the problems with our government. Yes, the ghetto does need more injections of private charity and faith. That means "yes" to churches, Metropolitan Ministries and charity. Yet, we must have a "yes" open to the public good when it is done well, as it should be.
After reading this book, I suspect that this is nothing more than an excuse for selfishness on the part of rich man Forbes and more knee jerk conservatism on the part of Williams, who seems to disaprove of everything which black American approves of, including a positive influence of religion and its compassionate vlaues on the public good.