A collection of nearly 1000 stories, poems, speeches, key documents, and other writings by great American men and women that affirms the purpose and substance of a heritage based on and sustained by the principle that all men are created equal. Chapters are organized according to the rights, privileges, and values expressed in the Preamble to the Constitution and the song "America the Beautiful." Background information, illuminating both contemporary and classical politics, places each passage in an historical context.
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Erik Bruun has been a reporter, editor, and freelance writer for more than twenty years. His books include Our Nation's Archive and American Values and Virtues. In his home community, he has taken a leadership role in several organizations that advocate for social change. He has three children.From Library Journal:
These two books attempt to characterize Americans in slightly different ways. In the Book of American Values and Virtues, freelance editors Bruun and Getzen take a traditional, patriotic approach, trying to show America at its best. The first seven of 14 chapters are headed with phrases from the Preamble to the Constitution, with each further organized by related subjects. Most passages are short, generally complimentary quotes from such famous Americans as Thomas Jefferson and current celebrities such as Garrison Keillor and Whoopi Goldberg. The index lists only those quoted; no subjects or topics are indexed. In Words That Make America Great, Agel (coauthor of Amending America, LJ 4/1/93) includes longer selections arranged topically, some focusing on specific historical periods such as the Civil War and some concerned with an idea like "A Fire Within." Agel includes all the basic historical documents but goes further to provide less familiar pieces, e.g., "Baseball's Original Rules" and George Carlin's "Seven Dirty Words" comedy routine as cited by the Federal Communications Commission. The selections run the historical gamut from the Mayflower Compact to Robert Dole's resignation speech. Historian Milton Cantor has written the introductions to each section, setting each in historical perspective. All public libraries should have a copy of American Values and Virtues, though its lack of a comprehensive index limits its use as a reference tool. Words That Make America Great should also be on public library shelves; its indexes make it an easy reference tool. Academic libraries will want to consider, too.?Grant A. Fredericksen, Illinois Prairie Dist. P.L., Metamora
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