In such modern classics as Chesapeake, Centennial, Hawaii, Alaska, and Texas, James A. Michener proved time and again that his understanding of and love for his country was unparalleled. This Noble Land is Michener’s most personal statement about America, an examination of the issues that threaten to fragment and undermine the nation—racial conflict, the widening gulf between rich and poor, the decline of education, the inadequacies of our health care system—as well as a thought-provoking prescription for sustaining our “outstanding success.” Infused with the wisdom and passion of a lifetime, This Noble Land stands as a wake-up call for a troubled era.
BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from James A. Michener's Hawaii.
Praise for This Noble Land
“A book-length essay on the often worrying, often inspiring course of America in the nine decades of Michener’s life.”—The Washington Post
“Michener is more interested in fixing the problems than in fixing the blame.”—The Dallas Morning News
“Michener’s are the beach books that, unlike most other beach books, leave you smarter than you were when you started reading. Each delivers the product of all that research, doled out to the reader at just the right rate. You know right away who the bad guys are—the petty ones, the stingy ones. The heroes are generous and energetic and smart and, above all, unprejudiced. The real-life villains in This Noble Land are the people Michener perceives as ‘petty, mean and vengeful.’”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“Stirring . . . an admirable effort to define what has made our country great and how to preserve what is best about it.”—Kirkus Reviews
The 88-year-old Michener here reflects on what he believes to be the major problems the U.S. faces and offers suggestions on how to solve them. He presents a moderate and humane vision, advising increased federal spending on education, the arts and health care. In one particularly thoughtful essay, he discusses the erosion of race relations and argues passionately for the necessity of affirmative action. He is a believer in the moral value of work and the traditional family. However, he strongly disagrees with what he sees as punitive financial measures against teenage mothers proposed by the Republican Congress. To redistribute the nation's wealth, Michener supports a sharp increase in income taxes on the wealthy. Michener's writing throughout is straightforward and congenial, informed by myriad personal examples and energized by the passion of his hopes and fears for his beloved country.