American Story: A Lifetime Search for Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things

( 6 )

Overview

“These are remarkable and poignant stories that need to be told.” —Ken Burns
 
More than six million people watch Bob Dotson’s Emmy award-winning segment, American Story, on NBC’s Today Show. For the last four decades, Dotson has traveled the country searching out inspiring individuals who quietly perform everyday miracles. In the process, he has become the treasured cartographer of America’s heart and soul.
Today’s news is overwhelmingly grim; it’s also told by journalists...

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American Story: A Lifetime Search for Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things

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Overview

“These are remarkable and poignant stories that need to be told.” —Ken Burns
 
More than six million people watch Bob Dotson’s Emmy award-winning segment, American Story, on NBC’s Today Show. For the last four decades, Dotson has traveled the country searching out inspiring individuals who quietly perform everyday miracles. In the process, he has become the treasured cartographer of America’s heart and soul.
Today’s news is overwhelmingly grim; it’s also told by journalists who travel in herds as they trail politicians and camp out at big stories. In American Story, Dotson shines a light on America’s neglected corners, introducing readers to the ordinary Americans who have learned to fix what really matters.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this powerful collection, NBC News correspondent Dotson compiles dozens of the human interest stories featured on his segment of the Today show, “American Story with Bob Dotson.” He’s traveled the country for decades interviewing remarkable people, many of whom have overcome great adversity and are actively working to make the world a better place for others. Some are quintessential innovators, like Jimmy Crudup, the truck driver who designs microsurgery tools on the side. Others defy the odds: in 1928, Leila Denmark became Atlanta’s first female pediatrician, and when she retired at the age of 103, she was the world’s oldest practicing doctor. (She died in 2012 at 114 years of age.) Elma Sneddeker’s tale is nothing if not miraculous: she was pulled from her burning car by a man born without arms who shattered a window with his foot to rescue her. Throughout, Dotson interweaves trying episodes from his own life, from being stricken with polio as a young boy to his decision to quit hard news and “look for people who offered solutions to problems that didn’t require bullets.” The details of their stories are unique, but their effect is not—they all inspire. Agent: Wayne S. Kabak, WSK Management, LLC. (Mar.)
Kirkus Reviews
The longtime Today Show correspondent offers a collection of heartwarming stories about ordinary citizens, "people who live the values our country cherishes." For more than three decades now, Dotson (Make It Memorable, 2003, etc.) has specialized in Charles Kuralt–like stories about people "whose values were never preached, just lived." Thus, we learn about the photographer whose 10-year project memorializing the giant cedars of western Washington led to the creation of Lewis and Clark National Park; the physician who recruited other retired doctors and nurses to establish a health clinic for the poor on Hilton Head Island; the first African-American in the U.S. Navy to earn a rank that took him out of the galley; the sawmill owner in Oregon who for years handed out $500 scholarships to any senior in town who wanted to go to college; the New York artist who traveled the country, exchanging his paintings for room and board. Dotson has found the last living member of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, the migrant mother captured forever in Dorothea Lange's iconic photo and a Ziegfeld Follies chorus girl, still dancing at 105. The author mixes in a little autobiographical information, but he focuses on a succession of quiet achievers, people whose imagination, grit and goodness might otherwise have escaped the news, had he not gone in search of their stories. Many of the characters require more than the three or four pages Dotson allots them to make any lasting impression, but the sheer multitude of tales underscores his argument about an America chock-full of unassuming people whose lives enrich the nation.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142180761
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 2/25/2014
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 524,180
  • Product dimensions: 7.80 (w) x 5.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Bob Dotson lives in Mystic, Connecticut.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 29, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Chronicling The Unsung Heroes Among Us~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Bob

    Chronicling The Unsung Heroes Among Us~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Bob Dotson , veteran correspondent at the Today Show has spent the last 30 years highlighting the stories of the quietly inspiring folks among us. Of course he isn't the first to do this, but he has done it well in this a high profile collection of short vignettes about "ordinary" citizens, "people who live the values our country cherishes." The longtime Today Show correspondent offers a collection of heartwarming stories about ordinary citizens, "people who live the values our country cherishes."

    Like the former CBS correspondent Charles Kuralt whose books about his travels throughout the US were popular in the 90s, Dotson has been telling such stories for a long time, reporting on people "whose values were never preached, just lived." So we learn (among many others) about the doctor who corralled other retired physicians and RNs to create a health clinic serving the poor on Hilton Head Island; the artist from New York who traveled the country, trading his paintings for food and a roof over his head; and the photographer that spent ten years shooting inspiring pictures of the giant cedars of western Washington which led to establishing Lewis and Clark National Park.

    For many of those featured, I would have liked more in-depth portrayals, but Dotson has covered a lot of ground, and wants to share it. So don't look for nuanced psychological profiles, but still, the overall effect of the book was inspiring. For books of more in-depth (and as my test runs, more off-beat) profiles of extraordinary people, I highly recommend The Man Who Quit Money and I Walked to the Moon and Almost Everybody Waved: The Curiously Inspiring Adventures of a Free Spirit Who Changed Lives.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2013

    Highly recommended!

    I have always enjoyed Bob's stories on the Today Show from the Rockefeller tree stories to just any of the "feel good" stories that e finds about regular Americans across the country. If you would like a good read and a book you can carry with you and read one story at a time, be sure to buy this book. You will not be disappointed. We all know that there are good people in our country and watching the daily news can be discouraging, but this brings renewal of hope and a smile that there is good in our country. Would make a good gift for anyone who likes to read of any age.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2013

    Cat (Please read)

    Welcome to Story Time! This reslut is for the second chapter of your stories! ----[[} Cat

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted February 7, 2014

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    Posted April 5, 2013

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    Posted April 28, 2013

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