This I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women

Author: Jay Allison

Price: $13.63

Series: This I Believe

Paperback: 320 pages

Publisher: Holt Paperbacks; 1st edition (August 21, 2007)

Language: English

Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches

1. Introduction

"A welcome change from the sloganeering, political mudslinging and products of spin doctors."--The Philadelphia Inquirer

Based on the NPR series of the same name, This I Believe features eighty Americans--from the famous to the unknown--completing the thought that the book's title begins. Each piece compels readers to rethink not only how they have arrived at their own personal beliefs but also the extent to which they share them with others.

Featuring many renowned contributors--including Isabel Allende, Colin Powell, Gloria Steinem, William F. Buckley Jr., Penn Jillette, Bill Gates, and John Updike--the collection also contains essays by a Brooklyn lawyer; a part-time hospital clerk in Rehoboth, Massachusetts; a woman who sells yellow pages advertising in Fort Worth, Texas; and a man who serves on Rhode Island's parole board.

The result is a stirring and provocative trip inside the minds and hearts of a diverse group of people whose beliefs--and the incredibly varied ways in which they choose to express them--reveal the American spirit at its best.

2. Comment

By Victoria Griffith on October 17, 2006

I've been working too much lately, getting into my car at night with my head still swimming about all the things that are going on at the office. I try not to get like this, but sometimes, especially at this time of year, it's hard not to. Someone sent me a copy of an interesting audiobook though and I wanted to share a bit about it with you. Listening to it in 15 minute snippets on the way to and from work these past few weeks has turned me around.

If you're a public radio junkie, the series it's based on is probably old news to you. It's called "This I Believe" and it's a compilation of essays from individuals writing about what they believe in. Very simple concept. The people who have written essays are young and old, famous and not, successful and not, religious and not. There are some from the 1950s, some from 2006. I'm finding that spending a few minutes on my drive to and from work every day where I stop thinking about what happened today or what needs to happen tomorrow does me good as a person. Some of them made me cry (probably more than I should admit) and some made me laugh. Some I fast-forward through b/c I've no interest in the topic - but with 80 distinct essays to listen to, you can fwd through quite a few and still have lots to listen to.

You might be one of those people who is going to think this is smarmy, a little too saccharin or otherwise not as clever as you'd like -- but you should at least listen to a couple of excerpts. You may be surprised by the range of this collection - there are essays on the belief in science and math and the written word; others about kindness and hope and family; some on pizza delivery drivers and good barbecue and feeding monkeys on your birthday.

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