"This 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 other honors--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, as many Americans engage in self-reflection following a bitter election campaign that has left the country divided, McCullough has collected some of his most important speeches in a brief volume that articulates important principles and characteristics that are particularly American..."--Jacket.
The United States of America are virtually not comparable to any other state in the world. It is not a product of any historical circumstances, political settlements, or aristocratic decrees. It is entirely based on an idea, the American idea of freedom, liberty, self-determination, traditional values, and the pursuit of happiness. Never before in the history of humanity such a political concept existed anywhere in the world. According to the US Constitution, US citizens aren't subject to any earthly power or authority. American people are sovereign, only responsible to God. We chose our government, we determine our destiny, we rule our lives. This is why our Constitution is the greatest thorn in the eye of all authoritarianism and tyranny. Nobody can overturn America without destroying the Constitution first. The American exceptionalism can be demonstrated best by citing the Bill of Rights. They start with our 1st Amendment guaranteeing freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of religion. Summarizing the essential of the American spirit, the culture of self-government, the Constitution and the rule of law, and the American dream are among the leading factors making America unique. An exceptional mix of liberty, limited government, natural rights, and religious freedom made the American spirit unique.
To have the American dream or to understand the American spirit is to understand that it is not a golden ticket you acquire because of your color, race, or financial status. It is not because there is a secret that only certain people know to obtain happiness and success. It is not one specific type of story. My story is like millions of others out there. It is not special. It is not glorious. It is not filled with luck and handouts or a million dollars. It is a story of truth in finding joy and satisfaction in being all that you can be. This is a story about being resilient and having faith and in being able to stand and thrive and be successfully happy with what you are given. This book is about how to overcome the anti-American spirit of victimization and entitlement and let the American spirit rise in you and fight the good fight, fight for your life, your future, your dreams, and your success, and in doing so, the American spirit lives, and the American dream is achieved. Photography by: Kyilye Bradley Art work by: Daniel Willis