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TV pundit Matthews invokes a kaleidoscope of cultural icons, including Lincoln, Bogart, Hemingway, Oprah and the Don't Tread On Me rattlesnake in this giddy, slapdash, intermittently coherent love letter to "American-ness." Matthews boils down this broad idea into some basic-and sometimes contradictory-precepts. Americans, he says, are pugnacious but anti-militaristic; they admire gun-slinging loners and heroic men of action, but love the little guy and underdogs; they are optimists with a manifest destiny and an eye for personal reinvention. Matthews's analysis rarely goes beyond hagiographies of celebrities and politicians and ardent appreciations of movies like Casablanca and Rocky (or in a darker-but still light-mood, Taxi Driver, whose psychotic hero is an "oddly comforting figure from our frontier past" possessed of an "edgy generosity" and "readiness to give all"). Some claims are suspect: that Americans "reject the dandified haberdashery of war," for instance, might come as news to legions of Civil War reenacters. The volume's vaguely populist centrism nods benignly at Franklin Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan, at pro-gun and pro-choice sentiments, at Vietnam War POW John McCain and Vietnam War draft-dodgers, all of whom partake of our transcendent national essence. His Whitmanesque embrace of contradictions papers over great fissures in American politics and society, but that is precisely the point of Matthews's positive, chest-thumping thesis: it's all good. Photos.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Chris Matthews is host and anchor of MSNBC's Hardball, and star of the NBC-syndicated The Chris Matthews Show. A veteran of fifteen years with the San Francisco Examiner and Chronicle, he was a speechwriter for President Jimmy Carter and senior aide to Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill, Jr., former U.S. Speaker of the House. Matthews is the New York Times bestselling author of Now, Let Me Tell You What I Really Think, as well as the classics Hardball and Kennedy & Nixon. Matthews lives with his wife, Kathleen Matthews, news anchor for the ABC affiliate in Washington, D.C., and their three children in Chevy Chase, Maryland. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Editorial Reviews
Boring, trite, rushed. These talking heads just seem to churn out books for the payday, but there's no substance behind it. This book was awful. It was so bad I actually got angry. Read morePublished on February 21, 2012 by Darren Landes
ISBN 0743240863 - Manufactured in the United States of America (and oh boy was that good to find in this book, of all my recent reads!). Read morePublished on August 2, 2010 by Anna M. Ligtenberg
Though I know who Chris Matthews is and I've watched a few clips of HARDBALL, I've never actually watched HARBALL or THE CHRIS MATTHEWS SHOW on tv. Read morePublished on March 9, 2010 by tvtv3
I enjoy Hardball, and I love The Chris Matthews Show. Here is his quirky, funny, genuine, and insightful crystallization of what makes an American an American. Read morePublished on August 5, 2009 by Home Away From Home
I surprised myself by purchasing the audio version of this book even though I find Matthews annoying and counter to my ideology. Read morePublished on March 11, 2009 by Leafsfan2028
I am a big fan of Matthews' television show "Hardball." He asks tough questions of all his guests and tries to pry the truth out of them. Read morePublished on April 26, 2006 by Charles Ashbacher
Well, I finally got around to reading this book.I note from the reviews they have been very mixed culminating in an average of 3 stars. Read morePublished on December 6, 2005 by J. Guild
I read most of the reviews already posted, particularly the negative ones. I am not sure what people were expecting from Chris or the book but I found it to be an easy and... Read morePublished on March 3, 2005 by Starwheel
I usually don't write reviews, and I am not much of a reader myself, but I am greatly disappointed in this book. First, the book has the style of a high school paper. Read morePublished on January 11, 2004