The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For by David McCullough

I’ve been a long-time fan of historian David McCullough. When I was in college, I watched a lot The American Experience on PBS and he was a frequent narrator as well as being interviewed.  I fell in love with his writing style when listening to the 45-hour audio book Truman, the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of our 33rd president.   Through the years I’ve picked up some of the other McCullough gems: 1776 (both the regular book (which is on sale on Kindle for only $3.99 right now) and the coffee table Illustrated Edition , which has all sorts of reproduction parchments), John Adams, Mornings on Horseback, The Wright Brothers, The Pioneers, The Great Bridge, and that’s not all of them; I think I own them all.

From Goodreads: “A timely collection of speeches by David McCullough, the most honored historian in the United States—winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, two National Book Awards, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, among many others—that reminds us of fundamental American principles.”

The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For (only $3.99 on Kindle right now)is a series of 15 speeches that David McCullough has given from 1989 to 2016. There’s the story of John Quincy Adams, who, after having a less than stellar presidency, returned to government as a Congressman from Massachusetts and served for many years, practically dying on the floor of Congress.


But not everyone McCullough mentions is well known. We learn about Simon Willard’s clock, which sits within a statue in Congress and has been there since 1837.  We learn of other things, like monuments and buildings, and historical figures and as I’ve mentioned, some not so well-known figures, too. McCullough, the master story teller, makes it all interesting as all get out.

“Never forget that one of the greatest of our freedoms is the freedom to think for yourself” ~ David McCullough, “The Bulwork of Freedom,” Ohio University 2004.

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