America: Where Great Things Happen by Donald L. Gilleland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
What a great book cover! America: Where Great Things Happen by Donald L. Gilleland with the red, white, and blue fonts plus the picture of the American flag sure is fitting for this book which is all about positive things that happen in America. As the author points out in the Preface, wonderful things do happen all across this country however it is barely ever reported. The newspapers and news stations all seem to report on everything negative. If there is a fight somewhere and on the same day a dying woman received a kidney from a stranger, the headline news would be all about the fight and if they even bother to mention the kidney donation from a stranger to save a woman's life, it would be lost somewhere on page 23 or a 15 second quick mentioning used as a filler if time allowed before the news ended. We are bombarded with all this negative news everyday and from every direction and I know I have doubted my faith in humanity many times because of it.
What this book is about is the headlines we don't get to see. It is all true headlines and stories but since they are uplifting and positive, they don't make local or national news. We all hear about how students fail their tests and how they can't even answer simple questions like how many states make up the United States but I don't recall hearing about a seventeen year old in 2012 who developed a test for pancreatic cancer that is 28 times cheaper and faster, and 100 times more sensitive then the current test, do you? (Because I did look it up, I do know these values are now in question.) Even people like Dr. Virginia Apgar, who I do recall the name and what she was known for, I found out a lot more about her and her other achievements that I had no idea she was even involved with.
Due to the nature of the book, there are no characters or plot to speak of since it isn't a 'story'. However, it does cover many different 'subjects' other than people. It includes the Bible, Pledge of Allegiance, and National Monuments just to name a few of them. The timeline is from historical to basically present day events and even the historical are interesting and not common knowledge taught in schools.
I found the book very interesting and easy to read. What I call the "fun facts" came in handy when my adult children came to visit. I worked the them into a conversation which made my children think I 'fell off my rocker' one too many times. (Yes, I had fun with this book.) I recommend this book to everyone.
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