Thomas Sowell

That is the provocative title of a new book by Dinesh D'Souza, a best-selling author who was born in India and who has now become an American citizen. Although many among the intelligentsia would have meant that question to be sarcastic, D'Souza proceeds to spell out just what is in fact great about his adopted country.

Perhaps it takes somebody from outside to truly appreciate all the blessings that too many native-born Americans take for granted. D'Souza understands how rare -- sometimes unique -- these blessings are. Some of this understanding comes from his own personal experience and some from a wide-ranging knowledge of history and a penetrating analysis of its lessons.

As not only an immigrant but also an immigrant "of color," Dinesh D'Souza says: "I am constantly surprised by how much I hear racism talked about and how little I actually see it." He points out other immigrants --West Indians, Nigerians, Haitians -- who "are darker than African-Americans, and yet white racism does not seem to stop them" from rising in American society.

This book is not mindless cheer-leading. D'Souza carefully lays out the criticisms of the United States from the Islamic world, from our domestic multiculturalist cults, from those who are seeking reparations for slavery, and from the intelligentsia around the world. Then he equally carefully examines these criticisms and exposes their fallacies and hypocrisies.

Despite the weighty issues discussed, D'Souza's writing is plain but profound -- a sharp contrast to the pretentious silliness which has become the norm for too many other writers. In an almost casual style, he packs a lot of history, logic, and insight into a small book of about 200 pages.

"What's So Great About America?" would make a perfect graduation gift for someone who has just gotten a degree from one of our many politically correct colleges. It could demolish four years of leftish propaganda like toppling a house of cards.

In contrast to those who say that we must seek to understand the "root causes" of the hatred of America in the Islamic world, in terms of things that we have done wrong, D'Souza sees the fundamental causes of that hatred in the envy and resentment of American success spawned by the Islamic world's own failures.

According to D'Souza, "the fundamentalists are a humiliated people who are seeking to recover ancestral greatness." Proud Muslims "find it hard to come to terms with their contemporary irrelevance." He asks: "When was the last time you opened the newspaper to read about a great Islamic discovery or invention?"


Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate