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This I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women Paperback – August 21, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
If you're a public radio junkie, the series it's based on is probably old news to you. It's called "This I Believe" and it's a compilation of essays from individuals writing about what they believe in. Very simple concept. The people who have written essays are young and old, famous and not, successful and not, religious and not. There are some from the 1950s, some from 2006. I'm finding that spending a few minutes on my drive to and from work every day where I stop thinking about what happened today or what needs to happen tomorrow does me good as a person. Some of them made me cry (probably more than I should admit) and some made me laugh. Some I fast-forward through b/c I've no interest in the topic - but with 80 distinct essays to listen to, you can fwd through quite a few and still have lots to listen to.
You might be one of those people who is going to think this is smarmy, a little too saccharin or otherwise not as clever as you'd like -- but you should at least listen to a couple of excerpts. You may be surprised by the range of this collection - there are essays on the belief in science and math and the written word; others about kindness and hope and family; some on pizza delivery drivers and good barbecue and feeding monkeys on your birthday.Read more ›
But the result is - despite being a bestseller - a dreadful book. If I had checked it out in a bookstore, rather than buying it here on Amazon, I might have figured it out from the back cover. Here are the four 'quotes from inside' that the publishers use as a teaser:
"I believe in the goodness of a free society. And I believe that the society can remain good only as long as we are willing to fight for it." Jackie Robinson.
"I believe in empathy." Azar Nafisi.
"I believe in the pursuit of happiness. Not its attainment, nor its final definition, but its pursuit." Andrew Sullivan.
"Be cool to the pizza delivery dude; it's good luck". Sarah Adams.
Well, yes. Am I supposed to argue with any of these noble sentiments? Hardly (though I might suggest a different justification for being cool to the pizza delivery dude than trying to generate future good karma). But it's precisely the completely unobjectionable, generally safe nature of the assorted beliefs expressed in the book that make it - and I may burn in hell for this - a major YAWN. If you crack open the book and can wade through some of the most mind-numbingly pompous prose imaginable, there are further nuggets to be gleaned:
Benjamin Carson believes that "there is no job more important than parenting".
William F.Read more ›
It was easy to become hooked as I read the first essay, and though some of the essays are 50 years old, they are still very relevent to what we are going through now as individuals and as a society.
The essays (of which there are 79) are 3-4 pages each and are essentially a brief outline of why the writer has a particular belief. The essays are personal stories which are written in a positive manner without being judgmental, preachy or obnoxious.
Some of the more well known writers include: William F. Buckley, Jr., Albert Einstein, Helen Keller, Bill Gates and Penn Jillette (of Penn and Teller fame).
In the "Afterward" written by Dan Gediman, he explains the history of the famous radio show and how he was inspired to put together a book of some of the more famous essays from the show, while including some new essays from both famous and unknown writers of our day.
The appendix includes the original introduction of the radio show "This I Believe" by Edward R. Murrow, how to write your own "This I Believe" essay, and suggestions on how to use "This I Believe" in your own community. They also challenge you to write your own "This I Believe" essay and send it in to their website [...]
"This I Believe" is thoughtful, inspiring and thought provoking. It would provide invaluable insights and topics for those interested in public speaking or blogging.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Such an excellent book that I assigned it to my students for summer reading. They'll learn how to write a college-application essay that is meaningful.Published 29 days ago by Always On Watch
An excellent resource for learning what others believe. A number of individuals from teens to politicians briefly informs the reader about something that they believe, beliefs, I... Read morePublished 1 month ago by JB
Nice collection of short essays from all sorts of people, providing the reader with different perspectives and food for thought in general.Published 6 months ago by crmacgal
My grand daughter was very happy to be able to receive this book.Published 7 months ago by grandmom B
I have several copies f this book and i have given these away as gift to many friends.Published 8 months ago by F. Farooqui