My Country, ’Tis of Thee

Keith Ellison. Karen Hunter/Gallery, $25 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4516-6687-8
In January 2007, Ellison stood with his right hand over his heart and his left hand on Thomas Jefferson’s Quran as he was sworn in as the first Muslim elected to Congress. Part memoir and part political reflection, Ellison’s lackluster and meandering recollections about his childhood and youth in Detroit, his college days and law school days, his eventual move to Minnesota, and his election to Congress reveal very little about the man or the ways that his faith informs his public service. Ellison admits that after 9/11, his candidacy went from being about inclusion and peace to being a defense of the freedom of religion. In a refrain he hammers throughout the book, he reminds us that “we are in a battle for our national soul,” yet he offers only the vague advice that “… to meet your goals and justify your existence—you must have a purpose. Purpose organizes your life.” Uninspiring, Ellison’s anodyne memoir will have little appeal to anyone outside his circle of influence. (Jan. 14)
Reviewed on: 01/20/2014
Release date: 01/01/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-4516-6689-2
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-1-4516-6688-5
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