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Publisher's Summary

A timely collection of speeches by David McCullough, the most honored historian in the United States - winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, two National Book Awards, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, among many others - that reminds us of fundamental American principles.

Over the course of his distinguished career, David McCullough has spoken before Congress, colleges and universities, historical societies, and other esteemed institutions. Now, at a time of self-reflection in America following a bitter election campaign that has left the country divided, McCullough has collected some of his most important speeches in a brief volume designed to identify important principles and characteristics that are particularly American. The American Spirit reminds us of core American values to which we all subscribe, regardless of which region we live in, which political party we identify with, or our ethnic background. This is a book about America for all Americans that reminds us who we are and helps to guide us as we find our way forward.

©2017 David McCullough (P)2017 Simon & Schuster

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

It's college commencment day, most of the time.

If you could sum up The American Spirit in three words, what would they be?

College commencement speech

What was one of the most memorable moments of The American Spirit?

Reading of JFK's inaugural address.

What about David McCullough’s performance did you like?

Provides an "at a glace" look at some truly great Americans.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, best taken in 30-45 minute chucks. Some of the speeches overlap in their themes, so it is good to finish up a chapter and marinate on his words for a bit.

Any additional comments?

His speeches were more inspirational that what I had received when graduating (Justice Clarence Thomas did mine at UGA - it was lacking in enthusiasm). Overall a good selection of speeches that makes you proud to be an American and encourages you to aspire to more in personal and public affairs.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Ray
  • United States
  • 04-21-17

Our New "OLD MAN ELOQUENT" Rides Again

David McCullough is a musing, thoughtful philosopher/historian. He is my favorite author in any genre and every type ever...period. Perhaps it is due to the way his writing transcends genre, his voice transcends ages, and his heart is for all that is good for America and the world. If I could have 5 minutes in person with him, I would shake his hand as a man, hug him as a grandfather, and sit at his feet as a father asking "Please tell me more."

19 of 20 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Good But Not His Best

I am not a literary critic but David McCullough is my favorite author for what it's worth. That said this is not my favorite work - 1776 also by David McCullough holds the title. Many of the speeches are similar which made it a little tiresome to get all the way through. Fortunately, there was enough wisdom sprinkled throughout to encourage me to power through it. Also his reading the book added a lot to the experience.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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An American Icon

I could listen to David MC read the phone book. there's something bitter sweet about sitting at his feet. American Spirit seems as though we are and what we stand for, but somehow seem to be forgetting losing overtime. They say that Robert E Lee was called the marble man, in my opinion David McCullough has replaced him as the monument to American ideals.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Tim
  • United States
  • 05-18-17

Commencement Speech

It felt like David McCullough just gave a commencement speech to our nation when he wrote "The American Spirit." Listening to Mr. McCullough read his own books has always been a pleasure of mine. When he speaks, we should all listen. He is the grandfather of our nation and I always listen and read every words that comes from this great and nodal human being.

His new book has been backlogged on my virtual shelf for a while. I was getting discourage from the garbage trash of what I've been reading from other authors. David McCullough always uplift my spirit when reading any of his books. He is the best at what he does.

A long time ago, my friend suggested that I should read one of his history novels. Every since then, whenever David McCullough publish an new title, I stop everything and click on add to cart to buy it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Timely encouragment

Timely and encourageing in the present political climate of division these speeches stress the importance, the historical American emphasis on education, and the importance of history for our youth.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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An inspiration in troubled times

No matter where you fall on the political spectrum David McCullough once again inspires through his speeches a return to the basic American Spirit. Bravo sir!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent book!

The David makes you remember that if you don't know the historical background of what you're trying to do you will surely muck it up.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Excellent

Have listened to it several times. Excellent. Should be required reading for every high school student.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sr.
  • Decatur, IL
  • 04-26-17

Great, just as I had expected

I always like this author and his narration and I wasn't disappointed! Get this one!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful