Recommended Reads: ‘We the People’ explores evolution of American ideals

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9780307952042We the People, by Juan Williams

This comprehensive American history tells how Americans, known and unknown, contributed to this nation’s story. The author poses interesting questions. What would the Founding Fathers think about America today? Where are we today, and how did we get here? We’re taught who the original Founding Fathers are; who are the modern-day figures who have reshaped and affirmed the vision of America?

It’s an ambitious collection of essays that recount the history of events, and the people who drove them, told without bias and without judgment of right and wrong. The chapters cover such interesting topics as the Kennedys and the American Melting Pot, Eleanor Roosevelt and human rights, George Meany and labor unions and the rise of the middle class, the rise of the Christian right, Rachel Carson and the environmental movement, the social safety net, the right to bear arms, and other controversial topics. It’s so interesting to learn how these debatable topics began, and how they’ve evolved.

The book is written as a conversational discussion. At the start of each chapter, the author compares and contrasts what the original Founding Fathers would think or imagine if they were magically transported to the modern-day America and confronted with each of the issues presented. Then he presents the history of the issue, introducing the influential people as it evolves. He doesn’t steer away from the political impacts; instead he illuminates all sides of political influences and also discusses Supreme Court decisions. Finally he gives us in-depth and insightful analyses of the influential people themselves. He describes in detail their life and what drove their passion, decisions and influence. His extraordinary research and thoughtful writing reveals information not well known about these historical figures.

juan williamsJuan Williams worked for two decades at the Washington Post as a White House correspondent and a prize-winning columnist. He has won an Emmy for his TV documentary writing. For 10 years he was a daily talk show host and senior political correspondent for NPR. This is his fourth bestselling book. He’s currently a top political analyst on the Fox News Channel.

I had the privilege to meet Juan Williams at his Town Hall appearance in Seattle. He’s such a personable celebrity. He’s a very patient and thoughtful debater, and presents information and arguments that will challenge you. He has a rich curiosity and intellect. Especially in this historic election year, this book is a great way to put into context the passionate people, their actions, and the extraordinary circumstances that have evolved into present day America. The issues and questions we’re now debating, how did we get here?

Thereby hangs a tale . . . .

Wendy Kendall

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— By Wendy Kendall

Wendy Kendall is a writer, project manager and volunteer at the Edmonds Library. Follow her via her blog here or on Twitter @wendywrites1.

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