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    Our America by Sondra Myers Published

    “Our America: Who Are We? A Digest of Impressions, Reflections and Opinions,” a new book by Sondra Myers, director of the Schemel Forum at The University of Scranton, explores the essence of America through a collection of writings by scholars, political leaders, historians, critics, naturalized Americans and artists.
    July 15, 2020

    Sondra Myers, senior fellow for international, civic and cultural projects and director of the Schemel Forum at The University of Scranton, has published a new collection of writings that explore the essence of who America is as nation and as a people.

    “My aim is to provide reflections and impressions by scholars, political leaders, historians, critics, naturalized Americans and artists who are themselves trying to define just what this country and its people are all about,” wrote Sondra Myers in the preface of her new book “Our America: Who Are We? A Digest of Impressions, Reflections and Opinions.” “I mean to create an impressionistic array of facts, opinions and hopes that give us a more palpable sense of our America.”

    The book includes writings of former Presidents of the United States, including George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama, as well as economist Joseph Stiglitz, historian Joyce Appleby, abolitionist Frederick Douglass and poet Walt Whitman, among many others.

    “Recognizing that our imperfections – our racism, our consumerism, our xenophobia – have come into sharp profile at this moment in history, I decided to bring to the surface the writings of thinkers who, beginning with Alexis de Tocqueville, see in us some traits, aspirations and virtues that set us apart from others,” wrote Myers.

    Myers went on to conclude “Americans are not defined by our race or ethnicity but by our diversity and our commitment to our America, the place we want, in the words of Spike Lee, ‘to do the right thing.’ … For me, compiling this book has been a journey through our America. I have been guided in part by the way that Tocqueville observed our American-ness – our exceptionalism. I believe that we are exceptional in many ways, but especially in our hope-driven energy through good and bad times to move forward.”

    William Sullivan, senior scholar, New American Colleges and Universities, wrote that the book is “(p)erfect for focusing serious discussion as well as personal exploration of what, despite serious failures and problems, makes America a land of promise.”

    This is Myers’ tenth book. Her others include “Democracy is a Discussion,” “The Interdependence Handbook,” “The New Rwanda:  Prosperity and the Public Good” and “The People's Choice: Public Education and American Democracy.”

    “Our America: Who Are We? A Digest of Impressions, Reflections and Opinions” can be ordered for $20 by contacting the University’s Schemel Forum at Alicen.Morrison@scranton.edu. All proceeds from the book will benefit the Schemel Forum.

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