Chicken Soup for the Soul of America: Stories to Heal the Heart of Our Nation

Overview

Most American heroes aren't in our history books, nor do they have monuments erected in their honor. Their names aren't in the headline news or memorialized in song. The true hero is simply someone who makes a difference-large or small-in the lives of others.

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Chicken Soup for the Soul of America: Stories to Heal the Heart of Our Nation

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Overview

Most American heroes aren't in our history books, nor do they have monuments erected in their honor. Their names aren't in the headline news or memorialized in song. The true hero is simply someone who makes a difference-large or small-in the lives of others.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
It was the beginning of a glorious fall day in New York City on September 11, 2001, and no one will forget where they were or what they were doing when they heard the news that our country was under terrorist attack. Hysteria and fear swept across the nation. Yet as the Twin Towers collapsed and erupted into pillars of smoke, heroes of all races and walks of life arose from the ashes and multiplied.

The firefighters and policemen who rushed into the burning towers to rescue people; the passengers and crew of Flight 93, who took courageous action against hijackers and crash-landed into a field in Pennsylvania; the Columbia, South Carolina, middle school children who raised nearly half a million dollars to buy New York City a new fire truck -- they and others all across the nation took action to help their fellow citizens. This book is a dedication and celebration not only to these everyday heroes but also to the spirit and heart of America. (Jennifer Forman)

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Jack Canfield

Jack Canfield is a co-founder of Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Mark Victor Hansen is a co-founder of Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Biography

While Jack Canfield himself may not necessarily be a household name, it's very likely that you have heard of his famed Chicken Soup for the Soul series and nearly as likely that you have at least one of them sitting on your very own bookshelf! Having got his start as an inspirational speaker, Canfield's own story is nothing less than inspirational.

Jack Canfield had been traveling around delivering key note speeches and organizing workshops to help audiences build their self-esteem and maximize their potential when he had an in-flight brainstorm that changed his life. While flying home from a gig, Canfield realized that the very same advice he had been delivering during his in-person addresses could potentially form the basis of a book. Canfield used inspirational stories he'd gleaned over the years as the basis of his speeches, and he thought it would be a terrific idea to gather together 101 inspirational stories and anthologize them in a single volume. Upon returning home, Canfield approached friend and author Mark Victor Hansen about his concept. Hansen agreed it was a great idea, and the two men set about finding a publisher. Believe it or not, the mega-selling series was not an easy sell to publishers. "We were rejected by 123 publishers all told," Canfield told Shareguide.com. "The first time we went to New York, we visited with about a dozen publishers in a two day period with our agent, and nobody wanted it. They all said it was a stupid title, that nobody bought collections of short stories, that there was no edge -- no sex, no violence. Why would anyone read it?"

Canfield wisely practiced what he preached -- and persisted. Ultimately, he and Hansen sold the first Chicken Soup for the Soul book to a small press based in Deerfield Beach, Florida, called Health Communications. The rest, as they say, is history. There are currently 80 million copies of the Chicken Soup books in print, with subjects as varied as Chicken Soup For the Horse Lover's Soul and Chicken Soup For the Prisoner's Soul. Canfield and Hansen ranked as the top-selling authors of 1997 and are multiple New York Times bestsellers. Most important of all, the inspirational stories they have gathered in their many volumes have improved the lives of countless readers.

This year, expect to see Canfield's name gracing the covers of such titles as Chicken Soup For the Scrapbooker's Soul, Chicken Soup For the Mother and Son Soul, and Chicken Soup For the African American Woman's Soul. He and Hansen have also launched the all-new "Healthy Living" series and 8 titles in that series have already been released this year. There is also the fascinating You've GOT to Read This Book!, in which Canfield compiles personal accounts by 55 people each discussing a book that has changed his or her life. The most compelling of these may be the story of young entrepreneur Farrah Gray, who read Deepak Chopra's The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success at the age of 11 and made his first million dollars at the age of 14!

With no sign of slowing down, Canfield continues to be an inspiration to millions, who fortunately refused to give up when it seemed as though he would never even get his first book published. "Mark and I are big believers in perseverance," he said. "If you have a vision and a life purpose, and you believe in it, then you do not let external events tell you what is so. You follow your internal guidance and follow your bliss, as Joseph Campbell used to say."

Good To Know

Canfield is the founder of two California based self-esteem programs, "Self-Esteem Seminars" in Santa Barbara and "The Foundation For Self Esteem" in Culver City.

Writing the first Chicken Soup book was a lot more daunting than Canfield expected. After the first three years of research, he and Mark Victor Hansen had only compiled 68 stories -- 33 tales shy of their goal of 101 stories.

Along with co-writing dozens of full-length books, Canfield also publishes a free biweekly newsletter called Success Strategies.

Some fun and fascinating outtakes from our interview with Canfield:

"My inspiration for writing comes from my passion for teaching others how to live more effective lives. I started out as a history teacher in an all-black inner city high school in Chicago, graduated to a teacher trainer, then psychotherapist, then trainer of therapists, then large group transformational trainer and then a writer and keynote speaker. All along the way, my desire was to make a difference, to help people live more fulfilling lives. That is what I still do today. Most people don't know this but I was not a good writer in college. I got a C in composition. Nobody would have ever believed I would grow up to be a bestselling author."

"I play guitar, and I am learning to play the piano. I love movies and some TV shows. My favorites are Six Feet Under, Grey's Anatomy, House and Lost. I love to play Scrabble, poker and backgammon with my in-laws, nieces and nephews. We really get into it. I love to travel. I have been to 25 countries and try to add two or three new ones every year."

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    1. Hometown:
      Santa Barbara, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 19, 1944
    2. Place of Birth:
      Fort Worth, Texas
    1. Education:
      B.A. in History, Harvard University, 1966; M.A.T. Program, University of Chicago, 1968; M.Ed., U. of Massachusetts, 1973
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

One

As the soot and dirt and ash rained down,

We became one color.

As we carried each other down the stairs of the burning building

We became one class.

As we lit candles of waiting and hope,

We became one generation.

As the firefighters and police officers fought their way into the

Inferno,

We became one gender.

As we fell to our knees in prayer for strength,

We became one faith.

As we whispered or shouted words of encouragement,

We spoke one language.

As we gave our blood in lines a mile long,

We became one body.

As we mourned together the great loss,

We became one family.

As we cried tears of grief and loss,

We became one soul.

As we retell with pride of the sacrifice of heroes,

We become one people.

We are

One color

One class

One generation

One gender

One faith

One language

One body

One family

One soul

One people.

We are The Power of One.

We are United.

We are America.

Cheryl Sawyer, Ed.D.

Contributing Author, Chicken Soup for the Soul of America


¬2002. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Chicken Soup for the Soul of America by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Matthew Adams. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street,
Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 30, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    USA!!!!!!!!!!!

    I love this Patriotic encourager of courageous stories... I love the USA!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2003

    How I got a little sprinkle of Soul in my life!

    I just wanted to thank the authors at this company. I was very depressed and sad for a lone time. You see being a mom for the first time has really been a challenge for me. Not knowing what to do and all of a suddend I just panic. But reading your books gave me not only hope, but courge to go on. I was looking for your web site in order to write to you, but found none. I have another one on the way, I thought it would get easier, not. But just reading these books and others has helped a lot. Just one question, where is the one on depression? If you have it could you please email me at Naturi114@yahoo.com. I would very much appreachated this. And again thank you very much for thinking about people like us young and old alike. It's about time someone did.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2002

    A Book with Patriotic Inspiration

    This is a book written to mend the hearts and souls of all Americans after the tragedy on September 11. This book was written for everyone. All ages, races, genders, nationalities, American leaders, and world leaders give to this book. There are those who write about their loved ones whose lives were lost on that horrific day. Then there are others who write about how they helped after September 11. Then another group of people write about how they reacted to the horrific event, and how the people around them reacted. This book also contains heart warming comics that were published right after September 11. While reading this book you will find yourself filled with all kinds of emotions, that you might want to have a tissue near by.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2002

    A much-needed book for post- 9/11 Americans

    This book contains several short essays relating to the courage and strength that came out of the worst day in the history of our nation. What I originally thought might be a depressing collection of stories is in fact a very uplifting read. I highly recommend this book.

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    Posted June 1, 2011

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    Posted June 7, 2011

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    Posted July 21, 2010

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    Posted May 26, 2011

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