Select one of the keywords
This I Believe    edited by Jay Allison & Dan Gediman order for
This I Believe
by Jay Allison
Order:  USA  Can
Henry Holt, 2006 (2006)

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Kerrily Sapet

It's rare when Eleanor Roosevelt, Jackie Robinson, Isabel Allende, and Newt Gingrich grace the pages of the same book. It's even more uncommon, when nestled in between them are the words of housewives, retired teachers, and chefs. The philosophies of these people and many more are contained within This I Believe, a new book edited by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman, and based on a program from National Public Radio.

The original NPR series This I Believe began in 1952 and was introduced by Edward R. Murrow. During the show listeners heard three minute broadcasts of people's beliefs. The essays ranged from patriotic to religious to humorous. They nearly all had one thing in common - they made for fascinating radio. The original show focused first on philosophies of well-known people, until a housewife took the programmers to task for only interviewing the rich and famous. Gediman and Allison have reintroduced the segment today and it is as popular and salient now as it was over fifty years ago. The essays contained within the book are titled everything from Be Cool to the Pizza Delivery Dude and Finding Prosperity by Feeding Monkeys to Always Go to the Funeral and The America I Believe In.

Whatever the quirkiness of the title, the writers all draw profound conclusions - sometimes sweet and heart-rending, and other times powerful and intense. Each personal belief is remarkable in its own way, making for fresh and interesting reading. The co-editors offer suggestions at the end of the eighty essays for readers to write their own statement. They also include an appendix of ways to use the book within a community, whether in classrooms, libraries, or coffee shops. This I Believe reflects the diversity within the United States, and makes readers think about what it is that they believe. The result is an intriguing, thought-provoking read.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more NonFiction books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews