Monday, April 27, 2015

'Exceptional Americans' - Stories You've Never Heard In A Riveting New Book

Exceptional Americans

Ever hear of Ann Hutchinson or Benjamin Eddes? How about Francis and Elizabeth Lewis? Or Anthony Wayne? Or Leland Stanford?

These are just some of the men and women you meet in Don Surber's new book, and had they not existed America would have been a very different country, if it had even existed at all.

The stories themselves, as Surber points out in his preface, are simply lessons in American exceptionalism, and at a time when we're told that it somehow doesn't matter anymore a book like this is a much needed reminder that it very much does.

The lives of the people Surber profiles are examples of why two presidents whom were students of America's history, Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan both referred to America as the last, best hope of mankind. Reading it is a reminder of whom we are as a nation.

The book itself is a fine read. Surber sketches his subjects with an historian's eye for detail while his years of experience as a newspaper writer keeps the book from being bogged down with unnecessary minutia.

Harry Truman once said that they only thing that's new is the history you don't know. There's a lot of that history in the pages of 'Exceptional Americans.'

$14.99 at Create Space or Amazon.


B.Poster said...

It's certainly good to know our history both the good and the bad. Our education system and the media do an outstanding job of pointing out our nation's flaws. They do not do such a good job pointing out our nation's virtues. Nations like people have their good and bad characteristics. America is no different in this regard.

While the author's work at something like this is very much appreciated if for no other reason than the entire story of America needs to be told not just its flaws, I'm skeptical as to what kind of difference this will actually make. While I'm sure the author will make money from this, he's "preaching to the choir" and will not alter anyone's opinion.

As for America being "exceptional," it may have been at one time when the government and the people operated based upon the Judeo-Christian principles found in the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Scriptures. As the nation has turned its back on these principles, it has ceased to be great and is little different than other nations and, in fact, is less than many others. For example, Australians, Canadians, and many Western Europeans enjoy a higher quality of life, have more opportunities for advancement, have more choices available to them, are wealthier, freer, and healthier than the average American.

As for America being the last best hope for mankind, at this time such thinking is sheer bunk. America is deeply in debt, whole parts of its infrastructure are collapsing from lack of maintenance, its military is worn down from fruitless nation building operations to the point that even basic national defense is going to be problematic at best for the foreseeable future.

In short, if America is best hope for mankind, mankind is in greater trouble than I thought!! All of America's challenges are solvable but realistic assessments of where we are, what we are capable of and what we need to do are of vital necessity. Fantasies and wishful thinking are not going to help and would likely make things worse.

Larry Sheldon said...

I anxiously await my copy.

One of my worst fears is that the NYT will take notice and I will have to deal with severely conflicted feelings.

Aw, hell--go for it. I'll work it out.