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“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.
About the Author
With a storied career that has spanned more than six decades, Dan Rather has earned his place as one of the world’s best-known journalists. He has interviewed every president since Eisenhower and, over that time, personally covered almost every important dateline in the United States and around the world. Rather joined CBS News in 1962. He quickly rose through the ranks, and in 1981 he assumed the position of Anchor and Managing Editor of the CBS Evening News--a post he held for twenty-four years. His reporting across the network helped turn 60 Minutes into an institution, launched 48 Hours as an innovative news magazine program, and shaped countless specials and documentaries. Upon leaving CBS, Rather returned to the in-depth reporting he always loved, creating the Emmy Award winning Dan Rather Reports on HDNet. Now, building upon that foundation, he is president and CEO of News and Guts, an independent production company he founded that specializes in high-quality nonfiction content across a range of traditional and digital distribution channels.
Elliot Kirschner is an Emmy Award–winning journalist and documentary filmmaker. After a career at CBS, producing for the Evening News, Sunday Morning, and 60 Minutes II, Kirschner joined his longtime collaborator Dan Rather as the senior producer for Dan Rather Reports. He now develops film, television, digital, and social media projects. An honors graduate of Harvard College, Kirschner lives with his family in San Francisco, where he is building an innovative venture in science communication.
“A tonic for our times . . . Rather's writing shows why he has won the admiration of a new generation. In these essays, he gives voice to the marginalized and rips off the journalistic shield of objectivity to ring the alarm bell when he witnesses actions he fears undermine the principles of American democracy. That, undoubtedly, is patriotic. And it takes courage.”
“[A] much-needed collection of essays from Rather on American values, from the importance of empathy, inclusion and service to the qualities that helped found the nation.”
—New York Post (Required Reading)
“One of American’s most trusted voices . . . reminds us what’s great about this country in a time of unprecedented polarization.”
“What Unites Us . . . stirringly melds memoir with a meditation on American values, including patriotism, inclusion and dissent.”
“Interweaving sweet personal stories with history, [Rather] makes a simple, compelling case for America . . . a clear-eyed love letter to USA. A tonic for disaffected millennials and conservative grandpas alike.”
—People (Book of the Week)
“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.”
—Booklist (starred review)
"What Unites Us is at times almost unbearably poignant. Yet Rather’s words provide a sort of salve—and clear thinking about how to recover from these ugly times. What Unites Us is a passionate treatise on preserving the best of America and letting go of that which makes us weaker.”
“If everyone could adopt the measured tone of Rather . . . you begin to feel that political chasms could be crossed . . . Rather implores you to step back into the world with compassion and gumption, global existential crises be damned.”
“[A]n essential read for anyone swept up in the current national conversation.”
“A full-throated celebration of the national spirit and its potential to persevere.”
“Provides a pleasant alternative to the reliance on vitriol and irony in modern political discourse . . . Rather has issued a stirring call for overcoming today’s strident partisanship.”