I have to admit that I have only made it through 230 out of the 269 pages in Sarah Palin's book, America by Heart. I also have not read her previous book; it seemed to have disappeared by the time I'd heard about it. Basically, I was unable to read past page 230, because Palin inserts an Emily Dickenson poem here, including what I felt to be a very loose and inaccurate interpretation of the poem, using it to support some political statement. To be fair, Palin's book is basically nothing more than a mosaic of material quoted from other writers and thinkers, including such oddities like references to the animated movie The Incredibles, block quotes more than a page long, some of which include quotations of their own, and enough Reagan quotes that I feel I should just read something by the man himself to find out what Palin thinks, though in that case I would miss out on the fact that she has read at least one article from the Onion that I also have, without understanding its sarcasm properly.
Anything that could pass as an original thought from Palin has a tendency to be contradictory, such as her assertions that America is an exceptional country paired with her distaste for those who wish to hold our country to a higher standard because of that very exceptional nature. She claims that the country must be taken back, without acknowledging that those who took the country by electing our current president were also American citizens. Palin does not mean this book to garner support for herself from those not already her followers, as the book is full of disparaging statements about liberals. Also, despite her chapters having topics, there is no overarching organization to this book to indicate why those chapters are presented in the order they are. Her writing style reminds me of how my sister explained her research paper writing process when she was a sophomore. "Papers are easy," she said, "I just get all my quotes together, then fill in the spaces with transitions and BS."
Basically, Sarah Palin seems to be the Stephenie Meyer of politics--very popular, but ultimately not a contender for the highest quality (with apologies to Meyer, who has only published one book I haven't read, and can improve). Also, I have odd suspicions about her faith (Palin, not Meyer, who is clearly a Mormon). For one thing, she never quotes the bible, instead throwing in the overused pagan truism "god helps those who help themselves" from Aesop's fable about Hercules and the carter. Also, in addition to never mentioning attending church, the only theology she mentions that she believes is something about the "sweet by and by" in her words, which implies that this world is irredeemable or impossible to improve, and that our reward will come only after death. Palin also includes a little anecdote of her life wherein she makes it clear that her faith in this was unable to console her for the trouble she was going through at that time, underscoring the fact that she either doesn't really believe it, or that her understanding of her own faith is flawed.