The Pocket Book of Patriotism

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Overview

A Stirring Celebration of American History and Ideals

A book that belongs in homes and schools across the country, The Pocket Book of Patriotism is an inspiring primer of patriotic literacy. Inspired by George Courtauld's Pocket Book of British Patriotism—the 2004 UK publishing phenomenon—Jonathan Foreman's companion book is provocative, unpredictable, and refreshingly free of political correctness of any stripe. Here is the dramatic story of ...
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Overview

A Stirring Celebration of American History and Ideals

A book that belongs in homes and schools across the country, The Pocket Book of Patriotism is an inspiring primer of patriotic literacy. Inspired by George Courtauld's Pocket Book of British Patriotism—the 2004 UK publishing phenomenon—Jonathan Foreman's companion book is provocative, unpredictable, and refreshingly free of political correctness of any stripe. Here is the dramatic story of US history—the heroes, the stirring quotations, the great battles and voyages, the men and women who fought for freedom—uniquely projects against the backdrop of world history; here are the poems and songs that cut across partisan lines and make us all proud to be Americans.

  • A selective timeline of everything you've ever forgotten about US history (along with some fascinating facts and quotes that you were never taught in school) places America's chronology in the context of key world events...interspersed with fascinating quotes by important figures
  • Excerpts from key American speeches and core documents, with highlights from the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution; classic patriotic songs and poems
  • Chronological lists of US presidents as well as the states and their dates of accession to the Union
  • A primer on flag traditions and etiquette
  • A history of the Medal of Honor and other medals of valor

About the Author

Jonathan Foreman is a New York-based writer. A former columnist and film critic for the New York Post, and contributing editor at Manhattan Institute's City Journal, his work has appeared publications ranging from the Weekly Standard and the New Yorker. The son of blacklisted High Noon screenwriter Carl Foreman, the author's own sense of American patriotism was shaped by years as an American growing up between London and the US, and by his worldwide travels. But it was dramatically deepened by his experience of 9/11 and two tours as a war correspondent embedded with the US Army during Operation Iraqi Freedom. A former lawyer, Foreman has an MA in history from Cambridge and a JD from the University of Pennsylvania.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
From the Revolutionary War to Ground Zero, from "Give me liberty or give me death" to "I have a dream," The Pocket Book of Patriotism presents the quotations, speeches, songs, and documents that best exemplify our national qualities. In addition to these hallmarks, this moderately priced U.S. companion to a runaway British blockbuster contains American history timelines, facts, and trivia.
Alan Caruba
"An excellent companion is The Pocket Book of Patriotism by Jonathan Foreman, which is not some flag-waving tribute, but a book that provides a remarkable time-line of American and world history, taking it from the beginning of civilization through to today. It provides, side by side, a look at the major events that shaped the world and our nation. There is, in addition, brief, useful information about our Presidents, the States, and significant documents. This is just a first-rate reference book that should be in everyone's library."
Bookviews
Jay Nordlinger
"And do you know the writer Jonathan Foreman? You ought to. He's a political editorialist, a war reporter, a film critic, and an all-around brain. He has just put out a book called The Pocket Book of Patriotism, which contains materials that ought to be in every American's blood, or heart, or head."
National Review
Richard Snow
"Jonathan Foreman's brisk and bracing encapsulation of what made—and continues to make—us Americans is lively, valuable, and sometimes surprising (did you know that Offenbach wrote the music to the "Marine Corps Hymn"?). This telegraphic recounting of a great and continuing enterprise reminds us at once how brief is our history, and how rich our heritage."
American Heritage
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402729904
  • Publisher: Sterling Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/3/2005
  • Pages: 96
  • Product dimensions: 5.72 (w) x 8.66 (h) x 0.58 (d)

Table of Contents

PART ONE
Timeline of American & World History    

PART TWO
Patriotic Texts & Essentials    
(all texts excerpts except where noted)

Speeches, Charters & Significant Documents    
Songs    
Poems & Verse   
United States Presidents    
The States in Order of Joining the Union    
What Is Patriotism? (Quotations)    
Medals for Valor    
Flag Tradition & Etiquette    
Oaths & Pledges

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Introduction

The Pocket Book of Patriotism is a primer intended to fill some of the void left by the abandonment of traditional civic instruction in America.

It is not a textbook, still less an encyclopedia. It is a celebration of this country. Without whitewashing America's past (true patriotism acknowledges America's sins and flaws) it celebrates America's history, her contributions to humanity, the eternal optimism and energy of her people. Above all it celebrates the documents in which successive generations of Americans have placed their faith.

It begins with a timeline because chronology is one of the first casualties of certain modern educational trends and because it's impossible to understand or appreciate history without knowing the order of events.

Not long ago a friend told me how a clever teenage girl of her acquaintance, a student at a top Manhattan private school, wasn't sure which came first: the Vietnam War or the Italian Renaissance. There is something very wrong when even the most expensive American education leaves children adrift and confused about which things happened when in their own country and the rest of the world.

The timeline is a selective, not a comprehensive one. It includes some landmarks that may have received too little attention in recent histories; it also reflects the author's view that while America's record is stained by the original sin of slavery and by many episodes of cruelty, intolerance, and fraternal struggle, Americans have much more to be proud of than ashamed of. Our history is tragic in parts, but it is overwhelmingly a glorious and inspiring one. The abroad column of the timeline is intended to put key events in our history into global chronological context.

The second section of the book features speeches, quotations, and songs that inspired generations of American children but which have largely disappeared from our schools and our popular culture. Also featured are highlights from the great documents—including the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution—that embody America's founding ideals, and which have inspired her heroes from 1776 to today.

It may be useful at this point to say what patriotism is and is not. Patriotism is not the same as nationalism; it has nothing to do with xenophobia. As Adlai Stevenson wrote, "Many men who have offered their lives for their country, know that patriotism is not the fear of something, it is the love of something." The most impressive patriots that I have met are men and women wearing their country's uniform who are clearly inspired by love of country and love of its ideals. It may even be that love of your own country and countrymen is a prerequisite to genuine affection for foreign people and places.

Perhaps the most important idea underlying this book is that American patriotism is different than other patriotisms in the same way that the United States is different from other countries. Unlike foreign patriotisms, American patriotism has almost nothing to do with notions of blood and soil. We, alone, are a people dedicated to a proposition. American patriotism has everything to do with the political ideas that inspired the founders, and which found expression in living documents that continue to shape the destiny of the United States. American patriotism also has a great deal to do with faith in human possibility, that belief in a better future that inspired successive waves of colonists and immigrants.

The United States was blessed by providence in the education and character of its founding generation: leaders steeped in the best of England's Whiggish traditions and common law, classical learning, and the thoughtful questioning prompted by the European Enlightenment. The documents they drew up are a defining element of American life in a way that the written constitutions of other countries are generally not. It is because of those documents and their extraordinary role in our culture that American patriotism is inclusive. It is generous. It tolerates dissent. Sometimes it even mandates dissent, because American patriotism cannot be separated from America's ideals. The fact that these ideals have too often been honored in the breach, even at our country's moment of birth, means that no American should confuse America's good fortune with perfection.

But for all that American patriotism acknowledges the nation's faults and for all that it celebrates diversity of opinion and ethnic origin, it also implies duties and responsibilities. You are not a patriot if you betray the trust of your fellow citizens. That is a lesson I learned from my father, the screenwriter Carl Foreman. Though he was an American driven into exile by the infamous Hollywood Blacklist, he remained an American citizen and a proud one. I remember his horror and disgust as a patriot and former GI at the spectacle of a famous American actress who posed with North Vietnamese gunners.

Patriotism comes in many forms, small and large. (As Adlai Stevenson also said, it is "not a short and frenzied outburst of emotion but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.") And you can find it in every walk of life. But for me personally, the touchstone of patriotism is represented by the men and women I met as an embedded reporter with the US Army during Operation Iraqi Freedom. They were my inspiration as I compiled the Pocket Book of Patriotism. Accordingly, it is dedicated to them.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2006

    Patriots Aren't Born They're Made!

    The idea of patriotism, the love of one's country, has gone seriously out of style in our ironic, post-post-modernist era. We're all supposedly 'citizens of the world' now, and patriotism is seen as hopelessly retrograde at best or a serious threat to world peace at worse. As the recent riots in the Middle East and elsewhere demonstrate, however, not everyone else is sold on this 'citizens of the world' idea. When the rubber meets the road in today's globe, the United States is still on its own. And that means patriotism still has a very powerful role to play. So where does patriotism come from? Well, it doesn't just happen. People need to be taught, as children, the contributions the people of their country have made to sum of human happiness. This is especially true in the United States, where a common culture is increasingly a thing of the past and no tie of blood exists to ensure national loyalties. Jonathan Foreman and Simon Cortauld have prformed a simple yet invaluable service with this book. They reprint many of the great documents, hymns, prayers and songs of American history, along with a useful timeline of great events. It's compact and easily carried and doesn't intimidate young readers who, these days, seem to have the attention span of a music video. A terrific idea and contribution. Well worth your time and money.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2006

    Patriots Aren't Born, They're Made!

    Patriotism has gotten a pretty negative press for the last few decades, coming to be associated with war-mongering and retrograde political views generally. That, of course, confuses patriotism with nationalism i.e., confuing love of one's coutnry with a belief in its innate superiority over all others. There's is nothing wrong with the former. Indeed, a healthy sense of patriotism is indispensable if the life of ordered liberty that we enjoy is to go on. Why bother resisting terroism if there is nothing about your own society you think worth preserving? What Lincoln called 'the mystic chords of memory,' however, don't just happen. People have to be taught to love their country, its institutions, and its traditions. This little collection of poems, song lyrics and stories is just the hing to help a parent do that when dealing with cynical, restless children. It's also great for adults themselves, who all too frequently have been deprived of a proper inculcation of patriotism themselves.

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