Review: The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own

Posted: December 20, 2012 in Book Review
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The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own
The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own by Jackie Gingrich Cushman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I found this book down at Half Price Books on accident. It is really a neat book. There are some excellent speeches in here, many of which I have never read, and a couple I have never even heard of. I always find the fact that I have not been exposed to these pieces of American history when I have a bachelor degree in political science and a minor in history unfortunate, but it is not surprising. Just proof that if I am “educated” in those areas, the average American who just has basic course in American history is pretty much clueless.

While I could find something interesting about every item included in the book, there are a few that really stand out. One of the most interesting speeches was the Jeane Kirkpatrick speech to the 1984 Republican National Convention. I never knew this even happened. The relevance of Reagan’s A Time for Choosing speech to today’s America is eerie at times. You could simply update the statistics in the speech and give it today. It is also proof that most Republicans today pale in comparison to Reagan.

The book also includes a bonus CD with 1200 other important documents from American history. This book is very much something that should be added to the collection of any person passionate about American history.

View all my reviews

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