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One Man's America: The Pleasures and Provocations of Our Singular Nation Paperback – November 17, 2009
"The Best 'Worst President'" by Mark Hannah and Bob Staake
A noted political commentator and renowned New Yorker illustrator team up to give Barack Obama the victory lap he deserves. Learn more
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Of course, I'm comparing that to my own writing, which usually doesn't ponder the theory-weaving of much beyond My Disney Girl's Perfectly Princess Tea Party. But I digress.
Will's smart stories give readers much to think about.
Although proudly lacking the common touch, his essays are often about the common man. The stories in this collection cover a wide range of topics, including baseball pitcher Greg Maddux, the movie United 93, atrocities of the Holocaust, the messy birth of aviation and the similarities between the Pearl Harbor attack and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The last two essays in the book are personal and touching: Will talks about his 35-year-old son Jon, born with Down Syndrome, and the death of his mother Louise at age 98.
I don't usually share Will's politics, but I have always admired his writing, and this generally apolitical book was a pure pleasure to read. I should note, however, that many of the 138 stories may seem familiar. All but seven are reprints, originally published in Newsweek and the Washington Post.
Here's the chapter list:
2. Paths to the Present
4. Sensibilities and Sensitivities
7. The Game
9. Matters of Life and Death
Will's work begins with people (William F. Buckley, Barry Goldwater, John F. Kennedy, etc.), and then on to various topics such as "The Amazing Banality of Flight," "Ed Schools vs. Education," and of course, an entire chapter on baseball. It ends, with a brief summary of his son's life with Down's Syndrome, and his mother's long dying with dementia. Throughout, it is thoughtful.
What I find most attractive about George Will, however, is not his intelligent, conservative perspectives, but his never-ceasing objectivity. Sometimes conservatives are just plain stupid, and when that is the case, George Will is the first to say so.
"One Man's America" is a treasure trove of columns on historical figures, politics, history, the culture, sports (especially Will's beloved baseball), education, and science. He has a couple of great columns on the recently departed William F. Buckley, and his year-end columns and his columns about books are especially enjoyable.
Will is a national treasure. He is so learned, and has a staggering amount of background knowledge, that he manages to drop numerous unfamiliar facts about familiar people and incidents into his columns, which means that the columns must surely be educational for even the most well-informed D.C. insider. You may not agree with him on every issue, but to read George Will is not to spend time--it is to invest time.
And in case you thought George Will was devoid of a sense of humor, he writes, "But, then, serendipity has often attended the Fourth of July. That day is the birthday of Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804), arguable the father of American literature. And of Stephen Foster (1826), arguably the father of American music. And - save the most luminous for last - the sainted Calvin Coolidge (1872), who oversaw a 45 percent increase in American's production of ice cream". (p. 235)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love George Will s columns, and these do not disappoint, but I prefer his work on politics to that of baseball.Published 13 months ago by Mary Walker
Loved reading it and continue to read various parts because it's interesting, very very well written, and fun too! I am a big fan of George Will's.Published 14 months ago by Mary F.
Most interesting and enlightening on broad ranging topics from politics and history in and of America to semi pro and professional Baseball. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Mark S. Deal
My husband liked this book so much he bought a copy for a friend.Published 23 months ago by Janice G. Reichle
I enjoy Will's writing anyway, if not always the topic. Always well-written, I particularly enjoyed the column on the passing of his Mom. I am facing a similar situation. Read morePublished on May 19, 2014 by D. Bigelow
It's fun and informative to see Mr. Will's great brain move from the intricate world of politics to the joys of baseball.Published on April 24, 2014 by John Fields
I used to respect and appreciate George Will's opinion. He used to be thoughtful and thought-provoking. Read morePublished on April 20, 2009 by ElwoodJD