The American Spirit

The American Spirit

Who We Are and What We Stand for

Book - 2017
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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.

& Taylor

Collects some of the author's speeches delivered throughout the course of his career that celebrate distinctly American principles and characteristics.

Simon and Schuster
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.

Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2017
Edition: First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781501174216
Branch Call Number: 973 MCC
Characteristics: xv, 176 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm


From the critics

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Jul 20, 2019

Pithy, solemn, and exercising sound judgement are the main qualities of this collection of speeches, mostly from university graduation ceremonies. Each are informed by history, often the history of the people and places that the ceremony is held at. Humane without being soft.

Jun 26, 2018

Great books to highlight the American spirit by touching the critical stories for us to know of our forefathers. Their successes, their failures and how they shaped our country.

OLATHEAllisonA Nov 27, 2017

Americans need this little collection of speeches, now more than ever before. In a time when the nature of the United States is routinely called into question, David McCullough reminds his audience that the American spirit is praiseworthy and positive, and that it would be prudent to look to the past in order to understand what America has become in the present. He writes (and speaks) about America with an affection born out of deep and serious study of the nation, showing an admirable command of facts and anecdotes about the Founding Fathers, past presidents, and even former members of Congress. McCullough highlights his knowledge of American history to show his audience what wonderful things have happened as a result of the American spirit, and encourages them to believe that America can continue to improve on its impressive legacy in the days ahead.

Oct 24, 2017

This was one of the excellent books I have ever read. It was about all the history of America and all of David McCullough's speeches he ever told to universities and all of the other historical events and places that he visited and told those speeches. This man was also 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.

May 27, 2017

Thank you David McCullough for reminding us that we are still a great nation and a great people. Yes, we have flaws, but there is so much that each of us can contribute to our country and to our countrymen. I agree with your sentiment regarding the importance of History. It isn't just something in a dusty book but rather a living spirit that we all contribute to. Why then should we not wake each day and ask ourselves "What History will I make today?"

May 13, 2017

good book, but so sad to reflect on how great our senators, representatives and presidents were and how they put the country over themselves and then reflect on what we now have leading us


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Aug 23, 2018

“But power is not the point, responsibility is the point and at the heart of responsibility always are moral choices. In what we do, in what we say, what we stand for, we must feel, as did the founders of the nation, as did the founders of this college, that it is the example of America that matters.”

Aug 23, 2018

“When bad news is riding high and despair in fashion, when loud mouths and corruption seem to own center stage, when some keep crying that the country is going to the dogs, remember it’s always been going to the dogs in the eyes of some, and that 90 percent, or more, of the people are good people, generous-hearted, law-abiding, good citizens who get to work on time, do a good job, love their country, pay their taxes, care about their neighbors, care about their children’s education, and believe, rightly, as you do, in the ideals upon which our way of life is founded.”

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