Cheap Seats 2018
America’s Journey - 02/21
By Rich Trzupek
Hello Examinerland. It’s been a little over two years since I began a new, unique personal journey. That my journey culminated in a book I ultimately titled “America’s Journey” is no coincidence. It’s been an interesting couple of years.
History has always been a hobby. I devour it. Very early in my life I thought I would be a historian, before ultimately opting for a career in the sciences. It’s been a personally fulfilling career in every way that a career should be. Yet, that urge to write history never left me and, back in 2015 when I was stuck out in the desert, I decided it was put up or shut up time. So I went to work.
My initial objective was to write a narrative history of the United States, with a focus the way Americans have perceived themselves and their nation has changed over the years and why. I wanted it to be an entertaining, not a scholarly work, so I liberally sprinkled in historical anecdotes that will hopefully keep the reader entertained and interested.
And then something odd happened: the election of 2016. It was an ugly campaign, on all sides. The source of some of the bitter rancor that flew to and fro can surely be linked to the way that the anonymity of the interwebs allows for and to some extent encourages the abandonment of civilized discourse.
And yet, there is surely another important factor that helps to generate all of the name calling and finger wagging and holier-than-thou posturing: The way we Americans feel about our country and its history. To help explain the difference, here’s an excerpt from the preface of “America’s Journey: Underdog to Overlord, Regrets to Rebirth,” contrasting what I call “traditional patriotism” vs. what I refer to as “progressive patriotism:”
“The traditional patriot looks at American history and sees footprints that we have left on the shore to be gradually, gently washed away by the tides of time, as the nation marches forward and leads the world toward a hopeful new dawn. In other words, the traditional patriot does not deny whatever faults he believes America may have, and whatever sins he thinks America may have committed. However, those missteps are hardly to be weighed against all of the good that the traditional patriot believes America has brought and continues to bring to the world stage.
“The progressive patriot does not see footprints in sand gradually being washed away when he looks at the American impact on history. He rather sees heavy boots plodding through fresh cement, leaving ugly indelible marks that cannot be wished away nor easily removed once their impressions harden over time. (Although,) most progressive patriots would admit that America has done the world a good turn now and again.”
Thus, if I had to sum up what “America’s Journey” is all about in two sentences, I would answer thus: First, it’s a celebration of our shared history as Americans. Second, it’s an explanation of how this latest chasm to divide our nation has grown so wide and so dangerous.
The official release date is Thursday, corresponding to the birthday of our first – and in my opinion – greatest President. You can go to www.richtrzupek.com to read some excerpts and other goodies. You’ll be able to purchase an e-book edition or a paperback edition from Amazon or your favorite retailer. An audiobook version will be coming out this summer.
I am also using this project to help fund the Wounded Warrior Project, a charity with an impeccable record of taking care of our veterans while keeping its administrative costs lean and mean. They are truly all about the vets. If you don’t care to purchase a copy of “America’s Journey,” I urge you to make a donation directly to WWP. You can find a link to them on my website.
Finally, if you do read “America’s Journey,” please consider writing a review on Amazon. The more reviews the better, even if some of those reviews slam the book (as some surely will). In publishing, as in acting, there is no bad publicity.
Thanks for listening folks. Next week we will resume or normal programming.