Patriotism comes in many forms. Some people express it by joining the military and defending their country, both home and abroad. Some rally citizens through songs, speeches, writing, and art. And others instill patriotic values in their families, workplaces, places of worship, and in their own lives.
However you take pride in your country, here are a few books to celebrate your inner patriot.
- A Patriot’s Handbook: Songs, Poems, Stories, and Speeches
Celebrating the Land We Love by Caroline Kennedy. This collection of more than 200 selections has themes like “The Flag”, “Freedom of Speech”, and “The Individual”. The Constitution and the Declaration of Independence are rewritten in full, along with presidential speeches, farewell addresses, and decisions from landmark Supreme court cases. Poems and selections from fiction, including authors like Alice Walker, Stephen Crane, and F. Scott Fitzgerald are included, along with popular patriotic songs. Kennedy also includes dissenting voices such as Thoreau, Oscar Wilde, and Frederick Douglass, reminding us that while we are the land of the free and the home of the brave, we still have much to do to make it so.
- Mr. and Mrs. Madison’s War: America’s First Couple and the
Second War of Independence by Hugh Howard. Perhaps the most forgotten war, the War of 1812 celebrated it’s 200th anniversary last year. This conflict was truly our second war of independence, as Great Britain was looking to assert her dominance over us on both land and water. Author Hugh Howard presents this important war as James and Dolley experienced it. More came out of this war than Dolley running from the White House with the portrait of George Washington.
- Revolutionary Summer: The Birth of American
Independence by Joseph Ellis. Joseph Ellis is the master of taking a large subject like the American Revolution and paring it down to the nitty gritty. His latest in his canon of American Revolution titles is Revolutionary Summer, where he examines the summer of 1776 and how it changed not only our history, but history across the world. Influential figures from both sides, including John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, General William Howe, and Admiral Lord Richard, help tell the story of one of the most important summers in human history.
- Patriot’s History of the United State: From Columbus’s Great
Discovery to the War on Terror by Larry Schweikart. Schweikart believes that American history has been distorted by intellectuals searching for instances of racism, sexism, and bigotry in our history and seeks to right those wrongs by telling the history as it happened. He argues that more emphasis is placed on Harriet Tubman than George Washington, and more on the Japanese internment during WWII than D-Day or Iwo Jima. I can’t say I entirely agree with this statement, as American history is full of those problems and “oversights”, but for the right person who appreciates reading about “old dead white men” this book is for you.
- Battle Cry of Freedom by James M. MacPherson. I would be
completely remiss if I didn’t include something from the Civil War. During this 150th anniversary of the American Civil War, it is important to remember what led us to our nation’s greatest conflict, what happened, and what we can learn. MacPherson, a well-known Civil War scholar, makes the topic readable, approachable, and entertaining for readers of all ages, reading abilities, and knowledge. The most important lesson we today can learn from that terrible war is that divided horrific things happen, but together we can accomplish anything.