ARC Review: Beyond the Messy Truth by Van Jones

“America is a good idea brought to life and made real. We exist as an ongoing act of collective will, rooted in the conviction that shared beliefs matter more than shared bloodlines.”

Most of us who actively follow politics and related news everyday are guilty of surrounding ourselves in an echo chamber that strengthens our own existing views. Neither do we tolerate opposing views, nor do we even want to listen to them. What we don’t realize is that this is exactly what has led to the current political scenario – partisan bickering, no concrete solutions for the issues ravaging the people on both sides of the aisle, growing disrespect and contempt for anyone with a different POV.

“Each blames the other side for every problem and rarely looks within to find their own opportunities for growth.”

That is why I think this book is important. It’s not a one-stop guide to solve all problems that exist, but it is a good beginning. Van Jones gives us a glance into his childhood and upbringing as a young black kid in the South. He delves into his own personal experiences to help us understand that for identifying problems and solutions, it is not only necessary but better for people of all ideological spectrums, races and classes to find common ground. In his open letters to both liberals and conservatives, he points out the flaws in each of the party’s approaches to furthering their goals and ideologies at the expense of common people. At the end, he discusses in detail issues like criminal justice reform, opioid addiction crisis and job creation which have supporters across both left and right, it’s just that we need to be prepared to engage with everyone to work on solving the crises.

“Innovation does not come from insular agreement but from individuals with different ideas coming together to solve problems using all the tools and ideas at their disposal.”

I believe that everyone invested in the betterment of the country, especially youngsters should read this book, if not completely, at least look at the appendices which give information about lots of resources to get to know both sides of every story. We should play our part to ensure that our common goal is achieved – Liberty and Justice for All.

“If we seriously want to solve any of the mounting problems we face – or even just be better partisans – we need some spaces where we listen to one another and show up humble enough to accept the fact that we might have something to learn. We need to continually remind ourselves that honest, intelligent people can disagree with us for reasons that are honorable.”

Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

PS: Thank you to Random House Publishing and Netgalley for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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