REVIEWED: What Unites Us


What Unites Us by Dan Rather and Elliot Kirschner (Political Essay Collection, 2017).

This 274 page volume contains 15 essays by the veteran newsman (with the assistance of his longtime producer) on various aspects of today’s America. It also contains many interesting remembrances from Rather’s personal and career past that in some way relate to each essay’s specific topic. Thus it has aspects of a memoir, as well.

Rather is unsurprisingly troubled by many aspects of our current political life. But he is also hopeful, having a strong faith in the ultimate good will and sensibility of his fellow citizens. Yet he certainly faces up to what he sees as wrong–in our past and present, alike. He concedes his own early blind spots, even as he fondly recalls his working class upbringing in the Great Depression and WW II years, and his early days as a journalist.

It’s a thoughtful effort overall, and inevitably reveals Rather’s personality, as well as his devotion to his country and what he sees as needed for its improvement. Thus his view that political involvement and protest against wrongs are by their nature both patriotic and necessary acts.

A moderately slim book, but by no means superficial. It’s a worthy addition to the political discussion ongoing (as always) of what it means to be patriotic citizens of these United States.

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