I Could Have Been One
by Donald Wm. Jeffries
Dorrance Publishing

"Will those, who have drifted away from Christianity, come back to it in order to save their soul for the next life?"

Author Jeffries recalls his personal history, expanding it to a broad vision of his nation and the world. Born during World War II, he recognized early on that men in his parents’ “Greatest Generation” were spurred by the trauma that all warfare can evoke and, therefore, strove to achieve more once they returned home, building new neighborhoods and aiming for meaningful employment. Similarly, American women who had contributed industrial efforts to the nation’s defense, symbolized by the popular image of “Rosie the Riveter,” resolved to be conscientious wives and parents while also starting to seek outside employment. The postwar years thus wrought numerous upswings in ordinary American life. Meanwhile, citizens of central Europe, where whole cities had been obliterated, were still grappling with extremely challenging aftermaths. One ominous signal was the burgeoning of Russian communism and its concomitant movements of socialism and similar, politically far-left movements.

Jeffries’ youth was marked by his parents’ separation, his mother’s conscientious care, and the terrible loss of a sister, so he might have chosen any number of divergent life pathways. Fortuitously, his natural curiosity, acceptance of Christian ideals and practices, and drive to analyze and explore all possibilities have allowed Jeffries to observe and chronicle the rise of American communism/socialism along such significant historical trends as he deftly describes here: the Ku Klux Klan, the advance of feminism, the approval of birth control pills, and, in his early school years, the regular morning recital of the Lord’s Prayer. His overview of America’s cultural and political shifts offers readers a meticulously researched depiction of the worldwide rise of communism and socialism. In total, Jeffries asserts, these philosophies and their leaders represent a threat to basic, righteous human values.

Jeffries followed a life journey that was typical and generally acceptable to his generation, including military service and the pursuit of gainful employment. Now in retirement, his rational bent, religious convictions, and socio-political concerns have led him to this deep and diligent examination of national and international history. In this absorbing work, he offers lengthy quotations from governmental, legal, and other written materials, focusing on verifiable data that plainly demonstrates the infiltration of communist/socialist ideas into American thinking. This tendency has even, as he so amply proves, affected proponents of numerous church-based organizations, evincing widespread, sometimes overt and sometimes subtle alterations in their teachings. These leanings, representing as they do a subversion of what were once accepted American concepts of individual choice and freedom, further illustrate Jeffries’ central position and his heartfelt concern.

The author presents eye-opening lists of persons and institutions involved in this socio-political divergence, and quotes from the documents outlining their growing grip on and distortion of American ideals. He also references the Holy Bible, suggesting that Christianity is endangered by the spread of communism. Throughout this highly informative compendium, Jeffries exhorts his readers to maintain and strengthen their Christian values and stand in opposition to communist-inspired belief systems and organizations. His strongly held assertions and relevant facts will doubtless prompt readers to discuss and spread awareness of this thoughtful, thorough production.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

Nominted for the 2024 Eric Hoffer Book Award

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