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The American spirit : who we are and what we stand for
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Booklist Reviews

Very few among us possess the encompassing and informed perspective on America's past and present that historian and best-selling author McCullough has gained over decades of research. With two Pulitzer Prizes and two National Book Awards as well as the Presidential Medal of Freedom to his credit, McCullough, whose subjects include the Wright Brothers, Harry S. Truman, John Adams, and the American Revolution, is a beloved public intellectual. With an eye to this "time of uncertainty and contention," McCullough presents 15 speeches he has given over the last 25 years in the hope that his observations will "help remind us . . . of just who we are and what we stand for." In these clarifying and uplifting presentations, rich in historical anecdotes and portraits, he speaks of freedom and responsibility and "courage and patience." At an Independence Day naturalization ceremony at Monticello, he told "new Americans" that "the nation is richer for you." McCullough reminds us, "If we are beset by problems, we have always been beset by problems." And we have always drawn on our American spirit and convictions to find our way forward. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: McCullough's legions of fans will flock to this edifying collection. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

Library Journal Reviews

Historian McCullough (Truman; John Adams), a Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning author, presents this collection of 15 inspiring speeches in which he celebrates America's talent for curiosity, intelligence, goodwill, and humanity. McCullough is an eloquent writer, and the speeches are designed to be uplifting and celebratory. Amid all of the dissimulation and discourtesy that demands our attention, these brief essays celebrating national aspirations are intended to remind readers that, regardless of shortcomings, Americans have largely strived to better themselves and their country. Whether discussing the building of the U.S. capitol or the storied career of physician Benjamin Rush, McCullough manages to celebrate the people who have helped improve or build upon the nation's founding. VERDICT A concise read that will be well-received in public and academic history collections.—Edwin Burgess, Kansas City, KS

Copyright 2017 Library Journal.


Collects some of the author's speeches delivered throughout the course of his career that celebrate distinctly American principles and characteristics. - (Baker & Taylor)

A timely collection of speeches by one of the most honored historians in the United States—winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, two National Book Awards and the Presidential Medal of Freedom—aims to remind readers of fundamental American principles. Illustrations. - (Baker & Taylor)

A New York Times Bestseller

A timely collection of speeches by David McCullough, the most honored historian in the United States—winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, two National Book Awards, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, among many others—that reminds us of fundamental American principles.

Over the course of his distinguished career, David McCullough has spoken before Congress, the White House, colleges and universities, historical societies, and other esteemed institutions. Now, at a time of self-reflection in America following a bitter election campaign that has left the country divided, McCullough has collected some of his most important speeches in a brief volume designed to identify important principles and characteristics that are particularly American. The American Spirit reminds us of core American values to which we all subscribe, regardless of which region we live in, which political party we identify with, or our ethnic background. This is a book about America for all Americans that reminds us who we are and helps to guide us as we find our way forward. - (Simon and Schuster)

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