Though published three years ago, Dan Rather's What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism is as timely and resonant as ever. I could not imagine a better book to align with this month's theme of Our Best Selves and to discuss live just one week prior to Election Day.
While interspersing Rather's personal narrative among an exploration of our shared American values, What Unites Us delves deeper than the typical love-of-country clichés with essays on themes including Dissent, Immigration, Books, Public Education, and Audacity. Speaking to the ephemeral nature of his own influence over shaping our world, Rather invokes the circle of life, aiming to inspire future generations with his words and insights.
One of America's most beloved and respected journalists, Rather firmly takes to task the chest-pounding elected officials who choose to ignore America's fraught history, imperil our democracy, and weaponize patriotism at the expense of virtue, values, and our common bonds. Stark in its assessment of a divided nation, yet ultimately hopeful, What Unites Us is steadfast in Rather's faith in the American people, the triumph of our ideals, and the onward trajectory of progress.
I will be sharing my biggest takeaways from What Unites Us and encouraging fellow readers to share favorite passages and personal reflections during the November 2 Let's Get Lit! episode of my weekly lifestyle series Sparked.
Check out Dan's What Unites Us conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jonathan Capehart.