The American Dream

Dan Rather, Author, Dan Rather, Read by HarperAudio $25.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-694-52552-2
Inspired by Rather's radio and television series on the same subject, this collection features short biographies on almost entirely new subjects who in some way exemplify what Rather considers the founding ideals of the U.S. While Rather (Deadlines & Datelines) touches on his own story of growing up poor in rural Texas and rising to fame and fortune, the characters here are, for the most part, unknown except to those whose lives they have affected. There is no denying the power of their stories: people fleeing persecution from other governments, fighting injustice at the hands of this government or overcoming socioeconomic obstacles to achieve their goals. But the mawkish treatment that Rather gives them, along with his florid, often cloying introductions, lends the whole project a contrived air. Though drum and fife would hardly seem out of place in spots, the production thankfully leaves everything to Rather's trusted, folksy inflection. It's all undergone such a thorough Hollywood job, though, that the subjects themselves, purportedly everyday, down-to-earth paragons of our country's virtues, end up as glossy packages of pre-fab emotion. Simultaneous release with Morrow hardcover (Forecasts, Apr. 16). (May)
Reviewed on: 06/01/2001
Release date: 05/01/2001
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 480 pages - 978-0-06-620964-7
Hardcover - 266 pages - 978-0-688-17892-5
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-694-52551-5
Paperback - 268 pages - 978-0-06-093770-6
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