Torn by the Issues: An Unbiased Review of the Watershed Issues in American Life (A Collaboration of Unlike Minds)

Jennifer Maguire, Author, John Wren, Author, Bonnie Wren, Editor Fithian Press $15.95 (382p) ISBN 978-1-56474-093-9
Propaganda is an intrinsic part of American life, and citizens often are suspicious that facts have been edited, twisted or otherwise manipulated to support a writer's particular platform. By laying out point by point the documented facts of such issues as abortion, gun control, AIDS, animal rights, health care and defense spending, Torn by the Issues veers from that one-sided course. It is a meticulously researched tome, and a perfect companion for the reporter, student or politician who wants a quick reference for the number of humpback whales remaining in the North Atlantic in 1900 or the exact year scientists believe AIDS appeared in the U.S. But enjoyable reading it is not. Taking the bias--and the passion--out of these issues reduces them to a meandering, potentially boring accumulation of events, surveys and numbers. The brother and sister team that compiled the book tries to tame the issues by constructing a timeline for each issue--effective, for instance, in tracking the progression of the AIDS crisis. In other cases, such as abortion, they present opposing arguments but often they oversimplify, portraying the arguments as black and white, without the million shades of gray. But the authors believe that knowledge is power, and, in that spirit, they have provided a jam-packed, fact-filled volume. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/04/1994
Release date: 07/01/1994
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