I often get asked about who I admire most. Well, topping the list are my mom and dad, followed by folks like Joshua L. Chamberlain, Abraham Lincoln, Dr. Martin Luther King, John Locke, Thomas Jefferson, Hannibal, Leonidas, Alexander the Great — just to name a few.
However, if there is one person who tops the list as someone I admire from an ideological perspective, it is Booker T. Washington. His was a life of focus and a resolute determination, commitment, to excellence by way of education. And, he did not just seek success for himself, but for those most vulnerable and deserving, recently freed slaves.
Therefore, I was deeply honored that the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) would select me to be the Director of their Booker T. Washington Initiative (BTWI). In conjunction with this effort, TPPF is re-releasing Mr. Washington’s autobiography, Up from Slavery and allowed me to write an updated Foreword for this literary classic.
I believe that Washington’s points on education, entrepreneurship, and self-reliance resonate to today. His is the formula by which we can enable individuals to raise their own boat, and catch the tide. I implore you to order your copy of Up from Slavery and resurrect the ideals, successes, and incredible story of a true model of the American dream. The impeccable educator and orator, Booker T. Washington.[EDITOR’S NOTE: At present, only the edition shown above (paperback) has the foreward by LTC West. Clicking “Format” at Amazon will take you to other editions of this notable book, however, only the TPPF version has the Colonel’s foreward. The publisher is working to correct this).
During his 22 year career in the United States Army, Lieutenant Colonel West served in several combat zones and received many honors including a Bronze Star, three Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals, one with Valor device, and a Valorous Unit Award.
In November of 2010, Allen was elected to the United States Congress, representing Florida’s 22nd District.
West is a commissioned officer in the Texas State Guard. He’s Fox News Contributor, former Director of the Booker T. Washington Initiative at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Senior Fellow at the Media Research Center, contributing columnist for Townhall.com, and author of Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Family, Faith and Freedom, and, Hold Texas, Hold the Nation: Victory or Death, and the forthcoming We Can Overcome.