Cancel

The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For

5 Reviews

The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For
Select Wishlist
Everyone (Public)
Just You (Private) - Sharing is Disabled
Select a Wishlist
Add to Wishlist
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.

“Insightful and inspirational, The American Spirit summons a vexed and divided nation to remember—and cherish—our unifying ideas and ideals” (Richmond Times-Dispatch). Over the course of his distinguished career, 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 the bitter 2016 election campaign that has left the country divided, McCullough has collected some of his most important speeches in a brief volume that celebrates the important principles and characteristics that are particularly American.

The American Spirit is as inspirational as it is brilliant, as simple as it is sophisticated” (Buffalo News). McCullough reminds us of the core American values that define us, 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.
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.“Insightful and inspirational, The American Spirit summons a vexed and divided nation to remember—and cherish—our unifying ideas and ideals” (Richmond Times-Dispatch). Over the course of his distinguished career, 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 the bitter 2016 election campaign that has left the country divided, McCullough has collected some of his most important speeches in a brief volume that celebrates the important principles and characteristics that are particularly American. “The American Spirit is as inspirational as it is brilliant, as simple as it is sophisticated” (Buffalo News). McCullough reminds us of the core American values that define us, 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.
$22.50 22.50
$25.00 25.00
|Save 10% 10%
Special Item Info Text
View Product Details
ADD TO CART
save for later
134 New & Used from $1.99 in Marketplace
Advertising
Product Details
Sales Rank:
69,452
Pages:
192
Publication Date:
04/18/2017
ISBN13:
9781501174216
Product Dimensions:
5.70(w) x 7.90(h) x1.00(d)
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Show More
About the Author
David McCullough has twice received the Pulitzer Prize, for Truman and John Adams, and twice received the National Book Award, for The Path Between the Seas and Mornings on Horseback. His other acclaimed books include The Johnstown Flood, The Great Bridge, Brave Companions, 1776, The Greater Journey, and The Wright Brothers. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award. Visit DavidMcCullough.com.

Hometown:

West Tisbury, Massachusetts

Date of Birth:

July 7, 1933

Place of Birth:

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Education:

B.A., Yale University, 1955
Show More
Read an Excerpt
The American Spirit

Simon Willard’s Clock

JOINT SESSION OF CONGRESS


Washington, D.C.

1989

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Senator Dole, Members of the 101st Congress, ladies and gentlemen. For a private citizen to be asked to speak before Congress is a rare and very high honor and I thank you.

Simon Willard was never a Member of Congress in the usual sense. Simon Willard of Roxbury, Massachusetts, was a clockmaker early in the nineteenth century and he did it all by hand and by eye.

“In cutting his wheel teeth,” reads an old account, “he did not mark out the spaces on the blank [brass] wheel and cut the teeth to measure, but he cut, rounded up and finished the teeth as he went along, using his eye only in spacing, and always came out even. . . .
Show More
Table of Contents

Introduction xiii

Simon Willard's Clock 1

Civilization and the City 15

The Spirit of Jefferson 25

Which Way Forward 33

The Animating Spirit 43

The Lessons of History 53

What's Essential Is Invisible 59

The First to Reside Here 77

History Lost and Found 83

The Bulwark of Freedom 95

Knowing Who We Are 105

The Ties That Bind 121

The Love of Learning 141

The Summons to Serve 149

A Building Like Not Other 157

Acknowledgments 172

Photo Credits 173

Show More
Editorial Reviews
★ 05/01/2017
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, KS2017-03-20
A collection of speeches by the Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning historian and biographer.Arranged chronologically, the texts of these speeches—most were university graduation talks—reveal both McCullough's (The Wright Brothers, 2015, etc.) passion for history and his profound belief in America, or at least his vision of America, which is both encompassing and deeply hopeful. A number of significant historical figures appear throughout: John and Abigail Adams—McCullough, of course, published a Pulitzer-winning biography of John in 2001—John Quincy Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. The author also focuses on some who are slightly less well known: Lafayette, Simon Willard (whose clock in the U.S. Capitol appears in both the first and last of McCullough's speeches), Founder Benjamin Rush, and clergyman Manasseh Cutler, founder of Ohio University. Throughout, the author displays a sincere respect for subject and audience. For the graduation speeches, he researched local history and prominent figures to enliven his talk, and he spoke directly to the graduates, offering advice—e.g., read books, study history, quit saying "like" and "you know." At the national venues (Monticello, the U.S. Capitol), he rehearses their history both with engaging details and sweeping paeans. McCullough is relentlessly positive. At Monticello, for example, he confines his comments about Jefferson's slave owning to a single sentence, and in his account of the long friendship between France and the United States, he does not mention the Iraq War, "freedom fries," etc. But, as Emily Dickinson wrote, "hope is the thing with feathers," and it is that bird that swoops through all. Clio, the muse of history, smiles and nods her head on every page."This book is a gift. . . . It's a powerful argument for keeping history alive."“[McCullough] is one of the great historical storytellers of his generation. . . . Fundamentally Mr. McCullough loves the American story and its most illustrious characters.”“A national treasure, McCullough performs a national service in The American Spirit. Insightful and inspirational, it summons a vexed and divided nation to remember - and cherish - our unifying ideas and ideals.”“McCullough perfectly embodies the part of remember-in-chief. . . . Happily, the same qualities that inform McCullough’s histories and biographies also shape his speeches. He is, whether at his desk or a lectern, a consummate storyteller.”
“A carefully crafted, well-reasoned, heartfelt testament to what this nation can be — past, present, and we must believe — future.”

“Acclaimed historian David McCullough’s The American Spirit is as inspirational as it is brilliant, as simple as it is sophisticated. It will at the same time make you laugh and give rise to tears of despair. . . . This is not patriotic boilerplate. McCullough is a historian and a realist. He sees his nation with all its warts, beginning with its indelible birthmark of slavery and continuing through to today’s government dysfunction and political polarization. Yet he remains confident and upbeat.”"This collection captures McCullough's passion and vigor throughout. . . . [His] enthusiasm for history is infectious."“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. . . . McCullough’s legions of fans will flock to this edifying collection.”
Show More
Customer Reviews (5)
Zkvfhb
T ofh. . Tofg
- Anonymous
April 30, 2017
- Anonymous
July 29, 2017
BRILLIANT!
BRILLIANT!
- GRACIE9492
June 6, 2017
Show More Reviews 
Advertising
Share
The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For
Hardcover (2)
The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For
Pub. Date: 04/18/2017
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ADD TO CART - $22.50
Add to Wishlist
The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For
Pub. Date: 08/16/2017
Publisher: Gale Group
ADD TO CART - $34.99
Add to Wishlist
Paperback (1)
The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For
Pub. Date: 04/10/2018
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ADD TO CART - $15.56
Add to Wishlist
NOOK Book (1)
The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For
Pub. Date: 04/18/2017
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ADD TO CART - $11.99
Add to Wishlist
Audiobook (1)
The American Spirit
Pub. Date: 04/18/2017
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
ADD TO CART - $21.02
Add to Wishlist
Explore More Items
In American by Blood, three U.S. Army scouts arrive a day late to join General ...
In American by Blood, three U.S. Army scouts arrive a day late to join General Custer at Little Bighorn. They come upon the ruins of the Seventh Cavalry, a trail of blood and corpses defiled by wild dogs and swarms ...
In this authoritative and engrossing full-scale biography, Walter Isaacson, bestselling author of Einstein and Steve ...
In this authoritative and engrossing full-scale biography, Walter Isaacson, bestselling author of Einstein and Steve Jobs, shows how the most fascinating of America's founders helped define our national character.Benjamin Franklin is the founding father who winks at us, the one ...
Now in paperback, Larry McMurtry’s fascinating and surprisingly intimate memoir of his lifelong passion of ...
Now in paperback, Larry McMurtry’s fascinating and surprisingly intimate memoir of his lifelong passion of buying, selling, and collecting rare antiquarian books: “a necessary and marvelous gift” (San Antonio Express-News). • Acclaimed author: Spanning a lifetime of literary ...
From one of our most gifted living writers (The Washington Post), three great stories of ...
From one of our most gifted living writers (The Washington Post), three great stories of American accomplishment—the building of the Brooklyn Bridge, the construction of the Panama Canal, and the invention of flight—all collected in one volume.This boxed set includes ...
A revealing account of the great Baseball Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio from the man ...
A revealing account of the great Baseball Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio from the man who knew him best in the last ten years of his life—“a rare, intimate portrait...that pries open Joltin’ Joe’s perpetually buttoned-up privacy” (The New York ...
In this timely antidote to the parade of reassurance churned out in Washington's rent-a-scholar centers ...
In this timely antidote to the parade of reassurance churned out in Washington's rent-a-scholar centers (Kevin Philips, The Washington Post), Edward N. Luttwak reveals that the American Dream has become a fantasy and supplies powerful remedies to reverse our nation's ...
“Finally back in print, Flash in the Pan is the original—and still the best—reportage on ...
“Finally back in print, Flash in the Pan is the original—and still the best—reportage on the life and death of an American restaurant, a ground level view of every phase of its life. From the early, hope filled planning stages ...
The #1 bestseller that tells the remarkable story of the generations of American artists, writers, ...
The #1 bestseller that tells the remarkable story of the generations of American artists, writers, and doctors who traveled to Paris, the intellectual, scientific, and artistic capital of the western world, fell in love with the city and its people, ...