With his critically acclaimed best-selling memoir, This Just In, Bob Schieffer proved a natural storyteller, a gifted writer able to capture current affairs, television news - and himself - with remarkable wit and insight. It is a gift he has also been able to bring to his award-winning commentaries for Face the Nation.
No one had done commentaries for CBS since Eric Sevareid's retirement in 1977, when, in April 1994, Schieffer decided his show that week on the death of Richard Nixon needed a few closing words to put the subject into context. The reaction was overwhelmingly positive, and he has been doing them ever since.
Bob Schieffer's America brings together 168 of his best essays, pieces that cover a broad range: from the hard issues of today to the human stories that show us who we are; from politics and presidents and tragedy to the things that touch us, make us laugh, or reveal the small shifts in our culture that sometimes just creep up on us.
Smart, humorous, pitch-perfect - sometimes bitingly critical and plainspoken, other times suffused with wonder or delight - these essays speak to us all.
"My objective," says Schieffer, "has never been to convert someone to my way of thinking, but merely to provoke thought, to explain a complicated subject, or to call attention to a human foible. The greatest compliment to me is not when viewers write to say they agree with my conclusion, but when they say, 'I really never thought of it that way before.'"
In addition to these outstanding essays, Schieffer has written a wealth of brand-new material - "commentaries on my commentaries" - that run throughout the book, offering further anecdotes, reflections, updates, and insights. In all, it is as Jim Lehrer described This Just In: "A delight, a joy - a treasure."