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A Patriot's Handbook: Songs, Poems, Stories, and Speeches Celebrating the Land We Love

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Overview

Now available in paperback, the New York Times bestseller.

When John F. Kennedy called America "the land we love" more than 42 years ago, he was reminding us of the lofty ideals on which our country was founded. But what are those ideals, and how have Americans defined them Is America the land of George Washington and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who rallied the country's spirits for unity in wartime, or is it a land of dissent, a land in which Frederick Douglass, Elizabeth Cady ...

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Overview

Now available in paperback, the New York Times bestseller.

When John F. Kennedy called America "the land we love" more than 42 years ago, he was reminding us of the lofty ideals on which our country was founded. But what are those ideals, and how have Americans defined them Is America the land of George Washington and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who rallied the country's spirits for unity in wartime, or is it a land of dissent, a land in which Frederick Douglass, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Martin Luther King, Jr. remind us of our duty to protect our most fundamental freedoms? Are we defined by the speeches of Thomas Jefferson and Ronald Reagan or by the humor of H.L. Mencken and Mark Twain?

Caroline Kennedy's answer in A Patriot's Handbook is that we are all of those things and more.

The poems, songs, speeches, letters, and historical documents that Caroline Kennedy has chosen for this remarkable collection remind us of the foundations on which America was built. But they also ask us to examine what it truly means to be a "patriot," even if our assumptions are challenged along the way, because it is only by doing so that America can "truly be our own."

Voices as diverse as the nation itself:

  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Cole Porter
  • Chief Red Jacket
  • Amy Tan
  • Betty Friedan
  • Albert Einstein
  • George W. Bush
  • Loretta Lynn
  • John F. Kennedy
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Bob Dylan
  • Cesar Chavez
  • Toni Morrison
  • Groucho Marx
  • and many more
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The rich and sometimes discordant strains of American self-scrutiny fill this wide-ranging anthology. Kennedy (The Best-Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis) arranges the more than 200 selections according to themes like "The Flag," "Freedom of Speech," "Work, Opportunity and Invention" and "The Individual," and devotes equal space to the official, the devotional and the oppositional. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are reprinted in full, along with a large selection of presidential inaugurals and farewells and excerpts from landmark Supreme Court decisions. Popular songs include "Yankee Doodle," "This Land Is Your Land" and "Surfin' USA." Poems and fiction from such luminaries as Whitman, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Stephen Crane, Alice Walker and Annie Proulx explore the variegated textures of American life. The dissident voices of Thoreau, Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass hold America to account for its injustice; H.L. Mencken castigates it as "a commonwealth of third-rate men"; and Oscar Wilde raises a sardonic eyebrow at the whole dubious enterprise. Combining traditional touchstones of Americanism with many insightful surprises, Kennedy's thoughtful arrangement of works of historical significance and literary quality will reward both casual browsers and those conducting a more focused investigation of the nation's patriotic literature. (May) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
From The Critics
"Exactly what we need these days to remind us of who we are and who we hope to be." (O Magazine)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781401307677
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Publication date: 4/13/2005
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 688
  • Sales rank: 243,423
  • Product dimensions: 6.25 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 2.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Caroline Kennedy

Caroline Kennedy is the editor of the New York Times bestselling A Patriot's Handbook, Profiles in Courage for Our Time, The Best-Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, A Family of Poems, and the coauthor of The Right to Privacy and In Our Defense: The Bill of Rights in Action. She serves as the Vice Chair of the Fund for Public Schools in New York City and President of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. She lives in New York City.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 19, 2013

    Recommend

    Great book about our history. i love owning this book and its will worth it if you love History

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2009

    I am first an American

    Excellent reminder of who we are and how we got here.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2003

    Wonderful Book!

    The 'Patriot's Handbook..' is a wonderful book that we plan on sharing with our children. We have enjoyed reading about our nation's history! Carolyn has picked perfect examples of patriotism! The introductory commentaries were a perfect addition to the selections! Wonderful book!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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