Ron DeSantis's Book on the Founders has been Disappearing Online. We Found a CopyBreaking News
tags: Founding Fathers, political history, Ron DeSantis
In the lead-up to this spring’s release of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s book “The Courage to Be Free,” a funny thing happened on the internet: His first book, published in 2011 before his political career began, disappeared.
“Dreams From Our Founding Fathers: First Principles in the Age of Obama,” was once available at the click of a button as an e-book, but no more. A used hard copy is selling for $1,950 at the only online bookseller that appears to have it. The publisher, a small vanity label in Florida called High-Pitched Hum Publishing, did not respond to phone calls or social media messages about why the e-book was removed.
Fortunately, The Washington Post purchased a digital copy last summer, in anticipation that it may someday become more relevant. Now, with DeSantis (R) expected to declare his bid for the presidency officially this week, that time has come.
“Dreams From Our Founding Fathers,” in title, cover and content, is essentially a troll of former president Barack Obama’s 1995 memoir “Dreams From My Father,” which recounted Obama’s upbringing and young adulthood before he entered Harvard Law School.
In his book, DeSantis, who has moved to stop history lessons in Florida that might make students uncomfortable and who attacked an AP African American Studies course he said “lacks historical value,” dismisses slavery as a “personal flaw” of the Founding Fathers, irrelevant to the really important stuff: context-free, cherry-picked quotes from James Madison and Alexander Hamilton.
But DeSantis’s thesis is twofold: that Obama was conducting a dangerous power grab, and that the Founding Fathers would have been appalled if they were still alive to see it.
According to DeSantis, evidence of Obama’s power grab includes the auto-industry bailout, the 2009 stimulus package and Obamacare. The president’s anti-American principles, DeSantis alleges, come from the usual boogeymen — activist-writer Saul Alinsky, formerly incarcerated professor Bill Ayers, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright — plus poet Frank Marshall Davis and the father who abandoned Obama when he was 2. DeSantis then writes a laundry list of bad things these men once said and pins them onto Obama.
If that seems like a bit of a stretch, the balance of the book is devoted to performing a similar maneuver on the Founding Fathers, glomming DeSantis’s loathing for the 44th president onto quotes from Madison and Hamilton. Other Founders are mentioned only in passing and only so far as they can be made to support DeSantis’s argument, with one exception: a late chapter about George Washington.
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