Joanna Hildebrand Craig,
an Ohio university press managing editor:

"Don't even attempt to read this book from the comfort of an armchair or hammock or bed. Sit at a solid table -- good for pounding -- and in a sturdy chair -- good for throwing. You'll guffaw, groan and even curse as you react to such chapters as "Flatulence and Mendacity," "The False Concept of Race," and "The Conquest of Mexico."...

"As in Machiavelli's The Prince, Odom presents himself as the sage counselor to America's 'savior.' He constructs his arguments and dispenses his advice based on his interpretation of the cyclical nature of history -- more specifically, on the inevitable declines of the world's great civilizations in their tenth generations...

"Odom admits that his intent in writing this 'Fable?,' as he subtitled the book, is a simple one: to spark debate, to awaken dormant thoughts, to poke those numbed by contemporary culture and politics and economy... To make us turn to history to check his interpretations and our memories. To force us to defend our liberal/conservative views. To make us think."

Virginia Lee Underwood,
for Cox Newspapers:

"The postulate to this book is that in its weakness, America may well tempt takeover by a strong man, a "man on horseback," in other words a dictator, someone to "clean up the mess." We have in its one and only character a tutor or advisor to our saviour on horseback, a latter-day Machiavelli, in fact, educating his "Prince," a Jonathan Swift, making "A Modest Proposal." His proposals are very nearly as savagely sarcastic as those of Swift, but one can see that they could be seductive to a citizenry bewildered, anxious and astray. They are sometimes so outrageous as to be funny... the recommendations though extreme are surprisingly and comfortingly common sensical; we dare to hope it is not too late to be who we really are, but know we have lost the will. The reader sees that this is after all a dark book though temperate in tone - part furious satire, part prophecy, part plea. He senses that it is too accurate to be ignored..."

Benny B. Wade, Ed.D.
Eastman, Georgia:

"As I approached the midpoint in reading America's Man on Horseback, A Fable? I experienced the sensation of being overwhelmed by its contents. I pondered where America has been as a nation and where it may be going. In searching for a succinct, yet insightful means to express an analysis of the book, the following story came to mind:

In a small south Georgia town the elderly preacher was the most revered member of the community. Because of his years of devoted service, his high moral character, and his reverence for life, he was looked upon as a paragon of virtue. Early one Sunday morning, quite by accident, several members of the congregation, including some children, were horrified to observe the spectacle of the minister passionately copulating with a Nubian goat. Shockwaves of disbelief reverberated through the town. A young boy in the third grade had been one of the unfortunate witnesses to the event. The next morning the child felt the need to express his feelings to his teacher. The little boy said he guessed the whole thing would have been funny - if it didn't hurt so much to know about it.

And so it is with America's Man on Horseback - it would be funny if it was not so serious."

Guy Odom


©2003 Guy Odom