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Avoca Free Library 1 323.65 RAT New NonFiction Book
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Summary

Summary

AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"I find myself thinking deeply about what it means to love America, as I surely do." --Dan Rather

At a moment of crisis over our national identity, venerated journalist Dan Rather has emerged as a voice of reason and integrity, reflecting on--and writing passionately about--what it means to be an American. Now, with this collection of original essays, he reminds us of the principles upon which the United States was founded. Looking at the freedoms that define us, from the vote to the press; the values that have transformed us, from empathy to inclusion to service; the institutions that sustain us, such as public education; and the traits that helped form our young country, such as the audacity to take on daunting challenges in science and medicine, Rather brings to bear his decades of experience on the frontlines of the world's biggest stories. As a living witness to historical change, he offers up an intimate view of history, tracing where we have been in order to help us chart a way forward and heal our bitter divisions.

With a fundamental sense of hope, What Unites Us is the book to inspire conversation and listening, and to remind us all how we are, finally, one.


Author Notes

Dan Rather was born in Wharton, Texas, October 31, 1931. He attended Sam Houston State College at Huntsville, Texas, and earned his B.A. in Journalism in 1953. He went on to earn his Law degree from the University of Houston and South Texas School of Law.

After graduation he became a Journalism instructor at Sam Houston State College and worked for United Press International, and the Houston Chronicle as a news writer, reporter, and news director. He joined the CBS radio affiliate KTRH in Houston in the mid-late 1950s. He became the director of news and public affairs for CBS television affiliate KHOU in Houston in the late 1950s to 1961. From 1961 to 1964 he was the chief of CBS's southwestern bureau in Dallas. In 1963 he became the CBS White House Correspondent, and two years later the chief of the CBS London bureau for a year. In 1966 he was a war correspondent in Vietnam and returned to a position as CBS White House correspondent from 1966 to 1974.

In 1974, Rather became the anchor-correspondent for CBS Reports for a year before becoming the correspondent and co-editor for 60 Minutes until 1981. He has been an anchor for Dan Rather Reporting on the CBS Radio Network since 1977 and anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather form 1981 to 2005. In 1988 he became the anchor for 48 Hours and has anchored numerous CBS news specials.

Rather is the recipient of the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters' awards for spot news coverage in 1956 and 1959. He has received numerous Emmy Awards for his outstanding news reports. In May 2007, Rather received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Siena College in Loudonville, New York, for his lifetime contributions to journalism. Rather is also a columnist whose work is distributed by King Features Syndicate. On May 28, 2007, Rather compared historical events to events in the Star Wars films in the History Channel special, "Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed". Rather continues to speak out against alleged influence in journalism by corporations and governments. At a recent conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, sponsored by the group Free Press, Rather criticized both local and national news organizations, stating, according to reports, that there is no longer incentive to do "good and valuable news." Rather has since resumed his career with HDNet, a high-definition cable television station as a producer and hosts a weekly one-hour show called Dan Rather Reports as of October 24, 2006. Rather also has contributed as a guest on The Chris Matthews Show, and on The Daily Show. He has also formed an independent company called News and Guts Media.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* There is no question that America has become deeply divided over race, religion, economics, and, of course, politics. The polarization has become so extreme it has led Rather to wonder what it means to love one's country in this time of relentlessly bleak rhetoric and flash-point violence. The essential values that have long formed our national character seem to have been misplaced, and Rather, with journalist Kirschner, undertakes the search for those bedrock rallying points by reminding readers how they came to be in the first place. From his vantage point as one of this country's most revered broadcasters, Rather analyzes the current state of disconnected discourse in a series of reflective essays that go to the heart of what it means to be an American. From empathy to immigration, education to the environment, politics to the press, institutions and attitudes that once were unassailable are now endangered. Rather views them as a child of the Great Depression and as a chronicler of the definitive events of the past 60 years. While he spares no disdain for the forces that currently threaten the best America has to offer, he extols those who continue to cherish and protect its abiding foundations. Honest and heartfelt, Rather's is a reliably reassuring voice in times of turmoil.--Haggas, Carol Copyright 2017 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Longtime newsman Rather (Rather Outspoken) partners with Kirschner, senior producer of Rather's show Dan Rather Reports, to explore the core components of patriotism during the current period of political tumult, offering essays titled "Inclusion," "The Arts," and "The Environment," along with "The Vote," "The Press," and "Service." Rather employs an earnest and optimistic tone ("I remind myself and others that we have been through big challenges in the past, that it often seems darkest in the present") that provides a pleasant alternative to the reliance on vitriol and irony in modern political discourse, but the deliberate tone also gives the individual essays a feeling of sameness and diminishes their power when read successively. Nevertheless, the book inspires. Rather draws on memories from his Texas boyhood and from a storied news career spanning more than 60 years in order to explore the core of the American project. These recollections are bolstered with firsthand accounts of historical events including the civil rights movement, the McCarthy hearings, and the Watergate scandal. Rather has issued a stirring call for overcoming today's strident partisanship. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


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