What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism

Dan Rather and Elliot Kirschner. Algonquin, $22.95 (288p) ISBN 978-1-61620-782-3
Longtime newsman Rather (Rather Outspoken) partners with Kirschner, senior producer of Rather’s show Dan Rather Reports, to explore the core components of patriotism during the current period of political tumult, offering essays titled “Inclusion,” “The Arts,” and “The Environment,” along with “The Vote,” “The Press,” and “Service.” Rather employs an earnest and optimistic tone (“I remind myself and others that we have been through big challenges in the past, that it often seems darkest in the present”) that provides a pleasant alternative to the reliance on vitriol and irony in modern political discourse, but the deliberate tone also gives the individual essays a feeling of sameness and diminishes their power when read successively. Nevertheless, the book inspires. Rather draws on memories from his Texas boyhood and from a storied news career spanning more than 60 years in order to explore the core of the American project. These recollections are bolstered with firsthand accounts of historical events including the civil rights movement, the McCarthy hearings, and the Watergate scandal. Rather has issued a stirring call for overcoming today’s strident partisanship. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/04/2017
Release date: 11/07/2017
Compact Disc - 978-1-68168-736-0
Audio Product - 978-1-61620-784-7
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