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With her novels, The Fountainhead in 1943 and Atlas Shrugged in 1957, Ayn Rand created the philosophy of Objectivism, which continues to influence conservative American politics. Now, after all of these years, a political balance is provided by Sam, an entirely fact-based political philosophy narrated by fictional and real-life characters seeking to establish a nurturing society. Sam provides a nonpartisan, rational path to transform the United States government into finally becoming a truly representative democracy. Sam is a love story, a tragedy, and a practical political and social philosophy for the new millennium.
Sam, a young tank driver during the first Gulf War is horrified by his experience of burying thousands of elderly and youthful Iraqi soldiers alive in their trenches. Instead of becoming the teacher he once dreamed of becoming, he is homeless in Los Angeles where he becomes acquainted with a never-named syndicated columnist of the Times—the book's narrator. When Sam becomes distraught over the second Iraq War and the senseless harm being done to the Iraqi children and the mental and physical suffering of American soldiers, he decides to bite off a finger a day in a protest to force an end to war. The columnist agrees to report his ordeal, and they are joined by a retired Navy nurse, Aileana MacDonald, who cares for Sam and enables him to complete his mission. Writing over a two-week period, the columnist not only reports Sam's progress, but he provides a first-person narrative of what Sam has to say about the stupidity of war and the idiots who glorify it.
Sam becomes a media sensation as his ordeal goes viral, and the three of them decide to write Sam's political philosophy in response to numerous book and movie offers. Covering a variety of contemporary social and political subjects, the columnist presents a journalistic background of issues; Sam narrates his out-of-the-box opinions and solutions; Aileana offers conservative challenges; and the columnist's college-age daughter, Heather, provides the youth view.
Sam takes a philosophical view of the world we live in, and builds on the best to be found within those of us who inhabit it. He believes people want a nurturing government, one in which women have an equal status and make a prominent contribution. He offers practical policies to outlaw war and provide a safe, just, and civil society, which enables and encourages the freedom of speech. Sam offers a way out of the financial and economic crisis by achieving a balance between labor and capital in a truly free enterprise system. He proposes a smart and simple tax—which reduces the burden on working, middle, and small-business people—while providing ample resources to pay for improved education, health care, and transportation systems. Finally, Sam sets forth a plan for a universal savings system that provides a secure retirement for everyone, while funding an upgrade of the national infrastructure and small business ventures.
Aileana and Sam fall in love, get married and have a daughter, Mei Lynn. Their happiness is shattered with Sam's diagnosis of Lou Gehrig's disease, believed to have resulted from his exposure to nerve gas during the first Gulf War. He survives long enough to complete the book and to experience his daughter's fifth birthday. Set between 2008 and 2015 in Southern California and reflecting the true political, economic, and environmental facts of the era, the story of their lives ties the book together and provides hope and inspiration for the reader.