by Oliver DeMille
What if there were an award for “The Book of the Decade”? It would celebrate the most important book of the past ten years, the one that could have made, and still could make, the most positive difference in the world. If there were such an award, I know what my pick would be.
Some books deeply matter. They change their readers forever. They have the potential to drastically sway the course of modern society, if only we’ll pay close attention to them. Such books are great, the new classics of our time.
A decade ago, I’d have listed either The Fourth Turning by Strauss and Howe or Philip Bobbitt’s Shield of Achilles as the Book of Decade. Or maybe Robert Kiyosaki’s Cashflow Quadrant. All three of these predicted the world we now experience, in ways that most of the experts missed or misdiagnosed.
Ten years before that, I’d have chosen Allan Bloom’s Closing of the American Mind or Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The Covey book revolutionized business for many people, and Bloom’s could have done the same for education—if we’d have followed its suggestions.
In the decade before that, W. Cleon Skousen’s 5000 Year Leap is the winner, with Alvin Toffler’s Third Wave as a close second. Earlier decades would include books by Murray Rothbard, Dale Carnegie, C.S. Lewis, Buckminster Fuller and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. All of these are still relevant today, by the way.
As I said, some books have the ability to deeply change the lives of their readers. In the last ten years, there have been some great ones, including The Future of Power by Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, On China by Henry Kissinger, Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, The Help by Kathryn Stockett, A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink, The Final Summit by Andy Andrews, Aftershock by Robert B. Reich, Government Bullies by Rand Paul, Fareed Zakaria’s The Post-American World, and several others.
If there is one book written in the last ten years that every American should read, a true Book of the Decade, my pick would be Resolved: 13 Resolutions for Life by Orrin Woodward. Resolved is my top pick for four reasons.
First, it is a book about solutions, not problems. And the solutions are specifically, precisely, what are most needed to fix the pressing problems facing our modern world. The 13 Resolutions in this book are the solutions to our current national challenges.
Apply them, and things will improve across the nation—and world. Not many books can realistically make this argument.
Second, the changes in Resolved are for regular people. They don’t depend on Washington, politicians, officials, experts, or elites. All of these people can apply them, and so can everyone else. This book isn’t just about fixing our nations, it also about refocusing on real national ideals. This is long overdue, and each of us can apply the 13 Resolutions and directly influence our nations’ future.
This book can have the most impact, because it is a book for everyone—not just a few.
Third, Resolved is ultimately a book about the future of our freedoms. I know Orrin Woodward personally, as I knew some others on the lists above—W. Cleon Skousen, Murray Rothbard and Stephen Covey.
Woodward has a founding-fathers mind, like Skousen and Rothbard. He understands freedom, how it works and when it is in peril, at a level few people ever demonstrate.
Conversations with him—again, similar to many talks I had with Cleon Skousen, or Murray Rothbard—are often like reading the ideas and thoughts of Madison, Jefferson, Bastiat or Nock. His grasp of freedom, and how it applies in the real world today, is profound.
Among other personal and professional accomplishments, Woodward is the founder of the LIFE Leadership business, a network-marketing ground-breaking company devoted to education and mentoring “regular” people for leadership in their communities and society. I co-authored the New York Times bestselling book LeaderShift with him, and I have given speeches at LIFE Leadership events.
Orrin recently participated as a guest presenter for my online class on the U.S. Constitution, and his contribution was absolutely phenomenal. His out-of-the-box, paid-the-price thinking on educational, leadership, societal and constitutional issues is deep and excellent.
In all this, I have found Orrin to be a man of the highest character, a truly principled person, and I have found the LIFE Leadership company to be a real hope for the future of freedom. I’m not a member of the business, but I am a customer.
Customers receive a monthly book and several audio CDs on personal development, leadership and freedom. Can you imagine what would happen if every American –or just more Americans – or even a significant FEW Americans—would digest, discuss and apply these monthly materials? This one thing alone would likely reverse America’s current decline. It’s that good.
This is simply the best, most “do-able” lifetime freedom education program I know of. I hope this trend grows to the point that millions of people are reading, discussing and applying the ideas in these books each month.
This would drastically impact our freedoms and the future our children inherit.
I also recommend that people look into freedom materials from The Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), the Federalist Society, the Mises Institute, The Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Liberty Fund, and other excellent groups that really stand for freedom. Indeed, I would wish for every American to connect with any thinkers, writers, leaders and organizations that are truly promoting freedom.
Freedom is under attack in modern America, and around the world. Many people seem to realize this—from both the Left and the Right—but too few are doing much about it. We need a lot more people to take a stand and be the kind of citizens the Founding Fathers envisioned.
Orrin Woodward and the LIFE Leadership business are some of the top current leaders doing this, spreading freedom to anyone who will listen. Resolved is a great book in this battle for freedom, and Orrin’s work beyond the book is consistently spreading the message of freedom.
4. The Photo Finish
Fourth, any choice of a top book (of a year or of a decade), ultimately comes down to a race between two main books. In this case, for me, it boiled down to Woodward’s Resolved and Kissinger’s On China.
In the 1830s, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote that the future of the world would be determined by the competition and conflict of two great nations—Russia and America. In our day, it seems clear that the future of the globe for the next century will be largely determined by the competition and interrelationships of China and America. Because of this, Kissinger’s book is extremely important for Americans. We should all read it.
But in my final analysis, Woodward’s book is even more important. I’m convinced that if the American people live the 13 Resolutions outlined in Resolved, freedom and America will win the century. If not, we won’t, and China will become the world’s superpower.
Woodward has put his finger on exactly what is needed to make America great again—even greater, this time, in Woodward’s view.
Everyone should share this vision of an even greater American future, and I hope we can pull it off.
In my opinion, therefore, Resolved is “The Book of the Decade,” the most important book of the past ten years.
It is a primer on what you and I, the regular people, can do that will make a real difference.
Our generation simply can’t ignore this book. It is too compelling, too spot on, too relevant. Agree or disagree with me, but read the book and find out for yourself. Whatever you think of it, almost everyone will have to admit that an America where most people are living and applying these 13 Resolutions is a much better place than we now have—and much better than where the nightly news shows us heading.
We need this book right now, and more importantly, we need to apply it. To put it into action. To be the kind of citizens and people who stand up and lead. To implement the 13 Resolutions in our personal lives and in our society. And the time for action is now—in the decade just ahead!