Wednesday, July 10, 2002

The View From the Grass Roots by Gregory J. Rummo

Millennial Mind Publishing, 1589821017, $22.00

Picture Erma Bombeck and George Will having a child who grew up, moved to New Jersey, and got a dog named Chewbacca. This is probably the best way one could describe Gregory J. Rummo.

Readers in the New Jersey area will know Rummo from his many years as a regular contributor to regional newspapers, where his work tackles a variety of topics, personal and political. The Amy Foundation, an organization dedicated to promoting Christian-influenced journalism in secular newspapers and magazines, has seen fit to bestow a number of awards on Rummo's work. Some of these pieces are featured in The View From the Grass Roots, a collection of ten-plus years of opinions on the Clinton administration, profiles in courage, and timely observations of the country and government in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

The book's title, Rummo explains in the introduction, is meant to emphasize Rummo's position as a writer. He does not proclaim to be an expert on the topics about which he writes, but rather he calls shots as he sees them -- as an ordinary husband, father, Christian, and American citizen observing life. To call Rummo "ordinary" would be a misnomer, however. A perfunctory glance at the contents of View presents the reader with a look into a life both blessed and challenged, a life appreciative of God's creations - everything from the rough beauty of rural New Jersey to the child growing in a mother's womb. Rummo's style is common sense and easy on the eye; a column on the logistics of coaching his son's soccer team may illicit a few chuckles while at the same time warm a reader's heart as Rummo explains how his son refuses to let his deafness become an obstacle while playing. His thoughts on past and present Presidential administrations may, depending on one's political leanings, leave a reader nodding in agreement or shaking his head.

Whatever your view on religion, the government, and life in general, it is well worth the time to see these things from Rummo's point of View.

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