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Reviewed by Jon Michael Miller for Readers' Favorite
In What Would The Founding Fathers Tell Us Today?: Political Dialogs Between 1789 and 2040, Werner Neff addresses the political issues raging in America. He uses the bold technique of imagining some of the Founding Fathers—Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Hamilton, Madison, and Franklin—returning to today’s world. He begins in 1789 by reviewing the discussions that occurred as they all met in Philadelphia to create an independent country, particularly the writing of the Articles of Confederation and later the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Mr. Neff creates informal, often humorous settings where the men’s personalities interplay. But we see these men seriously creating the first modern democratic state. Then in 2020, they return to see how things are going. For the reader, Mr. Neff predicts “an intriguing read.”
And his prediction is spot on—but “intriguing” is an understatement because what a mess they discover! Before politics, however, they marvel at modernism in vehicles, buildings, smells, clothing, and food, and at their thirteen colonies having turned into 50 states. When their shock and awe settle, they see how reliance upon good faith, ethical behavior, and virtue has disintegrated into partisan rancor, particularly in the election process itself. They blame themselves for having created two flawed systems: the Electoral College and Gerrymandering. Then they go on to present what they believe will correct the current problems with present-day elections. Democracy depends, they say, on reliable elections. Throughout, Werner Neff imagines lively discussions on these issues among the returning Founders. What Would The Founding Fathers Tell Us Today? by Werner Neff illuminates our problems and offers possible solutions in an insightful and "intriguing" manner. This book might just help bring about the useful changes he proposes.