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August 20, 2010

Sodrel releases first book

‘Citizen Sheep Government Shepherds’ now available on the Internet

NEW ALBANY — Mike Sodrel has always been a student of the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. He has studied both documents for years, and been moved by their words. He even carries around pocket size copies of the constitution in his pocket, to give to those who ask.

An avid reader and New Albany resident who served one term in Congress, Sodrel used his experiences as a businessman, politician and historian to write his first book, “Citizen Sheep Government Shepherds.” The book is currently available in paperback on the Internet and will be released to area bookstores in hardback Sept. 1.

Sodrel said he kept the book at 200 pages because he wanted people to finish it, and he didn’t want to bore them.

“We figured people take about five to eight minutes to read a page. We live in a society of Twitter and texting. People have a hard time finding time to read a book,” Sodrel said. “I suspect a lot of books purchased go unread. We have gotten good feedback on the book. That is very encouraging.”

Sodrel said the book doesn’t target a specific party or philosophy. It tries to explain things in a way that he said “a person can understand.”

“We try to break it down to everyday language,” he said. “It’s not about Democrats or Republicans. I think they are mentioned only once. It’s about governments ... what’s the difference between conservative and socialism ..... what is a constitutional republic? We look at the bigger picture. I hope the book helps them understand what they think ... whether you are a Republican, Democrat or Libertarian .... whatever you are you ought to know why after you read this book.”

Sodrel has read the Federalist papers and different writings from Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and others. He said he is amazed how our government has strayed from what the founding fathers had in mind when writing the constitution and fighting England for our independence.

“I think the majority would be appalled,” he said of what their view of today’s United States would be. “There are three things I think people should know about a revolution ... and why they are fought. [Founding fathers] had something to lose [wealth] which is not typical of a revolution; it was fought to obtain liberty, not power; and they put in a system where people would voluntarily give up power. Ours was not a typical revolution.”

Sodrel said he didn’t put any names in his book ... so it’s not a typical insider tell all account of his time in Washington, D.C. and in politics, he said.

“I enjoyed serving [Congress] but I didn’t like running,” he said. “In many respects, a politician has to excel in deception and I am not good at deceiving folks. Some people want you to lie to them, they don’t want to hear the truth.”

Sodrel said his personal struggles and successes help him relate to people better than others in government. Before owning his trucking business which now employs 700 people, he drove more than 1 million miles as a truck driver. He was also a staff sergeant in the Army, who would later be briefed by generals as a member of Congress. One of his first jobs was as a bank runner, and he later served on a board of directors.

He said he has tried to bring his life experiences to the subject of government. He also said the book will try to answer the questions of who has control over the money you earn ... you or the government, and who has control over the property you own ... you or the government?

Sodrel said he doesn’t know if he will write a second book.

“It depends how this one is received,” he said. “It’s a lot harder to write a book than I thought.”

He said the first three chapters are biographical so the reader will have a better understanding of who he is. At his first book tour stop Tuesday at Coffee Crossing in New Albany, he said about 150 people showed up to purchase the book.

If you are interested in buying the book online, go to www.mikesodrel. com.

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