Book review: Who Built That: Awe-Inspiring Stories of American Tinkerpreneurs, by Michelle Malkin

Not the book it should have been (June 14, 2015)


This is not the book I was expecting it to be. I was expecting a clear, hard-hitting rebuttal to the idiotic Elizabeth Warren / Barry Soetoro position that if you are successful in America, it’s not because you had a better idea, worked hard, or took risks. Rather, it’s because wonderful super-humans in the government created your success, so that all you had to do was go out and get it, usually taking advantage of white privilege or some other cheat along the way.

Instead, this is a book about remarkable people who became successful in America. I guess that’s my fault for assuming what the book would be about, but it would have been nice if Malkin instead had highlighted achievements such as the Lincoln Highway, which was built largely by private concerns. There must be thousands of other stories like that, too, which could have been the focus for this book.

Malkin could have pointed out that even when government does build something, it uses assets from the private sector, as government doesn’t create anything; it only converts from private to public (usually with huge inefficiencies).

Malkin could also have delved into the manifold situations in which government wants to do something, but has to hire private-sector companies and individuals to get the job done.

Oh, well.