Collected Essays on Americanism
What does it mean to be an American in the sense of the United States of America? Is there anything special or extraordinary about our nation and its people? There is perhaps an impetus to search the past for these things and contemplate the present in this age where grace and graciousness are nearly non-existent.
Some of the answers are in this third edition now expanded to eighty seven essays and stories. There is a mix of contemporary and historical narratives. The essays are grouped in categories - society, bureaucracy, history, law, politics, economics and literature as art.
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For so many years I wrote essays, long before I wrote novels, before I went back to school to study history and study it further on my own. Before that I wrote technical manuals and instructions. Inexplicably, few read those, while they are needed for some practical purpose. But essays – narrations of ideas – have always been at the heart of my writing, even when infused within my characters and their stories in my novels.
So here then are my essays, with some more recent in my years as an old student with passion for history and its people.
Some, the most early, are not so well written – it was before my appreciation for the English language grew to its present level - and maybe weakly compelling, while a few show a spark of intelligence with profundity and maybe wisdom.
There is a little bit of memoir, some painful but honest and personal. Some are now outdated but reflect what I saw at the time. They are my own words.
David Claire Jennnings