As the United States prepares to inaugurate a president after the divisive 2020 election, our better angels are begging for our attention, begging us to refocus our intentions on our country and what it stands for. In that spirit, Perrot Memorial Library and The Greenwich Pen Women offer What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism as the first book discussion of 2021.
Through essays, profiles and personal experiences, intrepid journalist Dan Rather and his collaborator, Elliot Kirschner, examine patriotism through the dimensions of freedom, community, exploration, responsibility and character. Each section, each vignette, each story seeks to lift our national conversation out of our entrenched differences and to focus instead on shared values and experiences underpinning patriotism in America.
Dan Rather sets the stage eloquently:
Perhaps the path to what unites us could be paved with a recommitment to citizenship. … Our times require a modern sense of citizenship. Citizenship is not merely a collection of conferred rights but a compact with each other to work for the well-being of all, to engage with our civic institutions, to support our schools, the democratic process, and the health of our environment.
What Unites Us is a mother lode of challenging and inspirational discussions, with stories and images that remain in our heads and hearts. Bring your favorite passage or experiences to an adult conversation on patriotism, citizenship and the experiment that is the United States of America.
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