Memory, Patriotism

1948, a Novel, by Yoram Kaniuk is an a masterful book, and in my opinion a testament to memory, and Kaniuk’s way of honoring memory, if that makes sense.

There is so much to ponder, within the pages of 1948. It is a coming of age story, as seen through the eyes of the older self, not necessarily meaning that one comes of age early in life.

Memory is an important facet in our lives, and Yoram Kaniuk’s descriptives are filled with strong clarity, at times shocking, and filled with the realities of war’s horrors.  War is not a game, not a road to identity, and definitely not the idealist perspective, or the romantic perceptions, of the actualities that occurred.

Without memory, the past would be erased, even if our memories are enhanced through time.  Yoram Kaniuk brings a haunting, emotional story line to 1948, seen through his eyes, and the eyes of those whose memories are incorporated into his life’s journey

I recommend this novel, for its defining depictions of war, and its affects, and effects on memory.

What Unites Us:  Reflections On Patriotism, by Dan Rather and Elliot Kirschner is an incredible book.  There are so many levels to it, that would make my review of it long winded, and possibly boring, so I will try to keep it as brief as possible.

One thing I have learned is that Rather is such a humble man, a sincere man.  His authentic self is revealed within the pages.  His childhood, and his upbringing played a crucial part in his development, and how he viewed/views the world.  His honesty is astounding, leaving no thought or emotion behind.  What I read, in my opinion, is the essence of him.

I have had a deep respect for him for many decades, and this beautifully written book emphasizes my reasons for feeling that way.

The book is amazing. There is talk about Civil Rights and the initial movements.  How the movement affected the nation, and its effects upon the nation is clearly stated, with both empathy and truth.  He speaks truth to power, regarding Black oppression, and how the suffering and demoralization determined his standing, his moral standing on Black lives.

Voter suppression is a defining issue, as is war, diversity, and also issues regarding U.S. presidents and how they have altered the journey of America.  He details his feelings and ideas on their responsibility to our nation.

Rather discusses his life after college, and his beginnings in journalism, and how he saw happenings through his young eyes, yet managed to stay true to himself and his ideals, due to his background, and his parents views on life.

There is so much to offer within the pages, such as thoughts on community and responsibility, protesting, humankind, religion, etc.  It is a masterful book, and one that made me feel comfortable with what he conveyed. He is most definitely not racist, antisemitic, or against any religion or ethnicity, and is all for humanity and individuals coming together as one community, one whole.  He is aware that is not necessarily feasible, especially in today’s environment, and relates it to his own journey in life, seeing, and learning, what he did, and how things haven’t actually changed in many respects.  That, in itself, the fact that certain elements  haven’t really changed regarding violence, discrimination, ethnic and racial hatred, etc., brought many thoughts and feelings to my mind.

Dan Rather’s love of country and the almost 300-year experiment of our democracy, and the humanity within those years, has formed him, immensely, into the patriot he is.  After reading the book, the definition of ‘patriot’ belongs to him, most definitely.

I highly recommend What Unites Us:  Reflections on Patriotism.  The words within the pages brought a certain degree of comfort and hope to me.  His humaneness is astounding.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Historical Fiction, Jewish History, Judaism, Lorri's Blog, Non-Fiction, Novels, World History

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