In his newest book on American politics, “Boom! A Revolting Situation,” author Thomas Richard Harry contends that for an increasing number of Americans, their country’s political process has become a disheartening, murky and muddled mess. How, they ask, did it get in this condition? And most importantly, how do we fix it? Harry humbly claims that any reasonably informed Tom, Dick or Harriet could probably have told his story and answered the questions the book raises except for one: How do we fix it? Indeed, it is apparent the fix is the thing and it’s the author’s claim that the courses of action he lays out in the book are what distinguish it from other books published recently on the subject. While I can’t personally substantiate that claim, neither can I argue the matter of the book’s thorough treatment, including his proposed “fixes,” of his subject. “Boom” does exactly what the author says it will do in his Introduction: It answers the question of “how the greatest country in the world can govern itself in a more responsive, responsible, effective, and self-satisfying manner.”
Thomas Harry has a knack for taking a seemingly difficult to understand situation and turning it into a story made easy to follow and understand. “Boom!” is just that - an account of the American political systems beginnings, through its current state of affairs, made easy and engaging. Harry and what he has to say are possessed with an ample amount of common sense and positivity. His writing style is engaging, unaffected and appealing. He is, in his words, just a Tom, Dick or Harriet. And “Boom!” is “every man and woman’s” voice. Another of Harry’s writing skills that is made apparent in the book is a gift for content organization and flow. After clearly articulating the issues that “Boom!” addresses, Harry compels the reader to “stay with me” as he walks them through an effective and engaging account of the evolution of our young country’s political system. With that background, Harry offers a simple assessment of what the system has become and how our society has reacted to its shift from getting on with governing to simply getting elected.
While the author is quick to point out the signs – most notably the ascension of voters registered as independents - that establish voter unhappiness with our current two-party-dominated system, he also accurately proclaims that we simply don’t know what else to do about it. Once again, Harry takes the reader by the hand and presents, logically and methodically, specific actions that offer the strong possibility of leading us back to the business at hand – that being the fair and effective governing of our ever growing and increasingly diverse society. This segment of the book continues on the track of positivity and optimism, guided by common sense.