September 22, 2023

From the beginning, every generation of Americans has been faced with the same question: how should we live? Our answers, generation after generation, in war and peace, in good times and bad times, in small things and in great things through the whole range of human affairs, are the American story. The story is still young and is already the greatest story ever written by human hands and minds. It is endlessly interesting and instructive and will continue unfolding in word and deed as long as there are Americans. The stories recorded here are episodes in that ongoing larger story. They are mainly about what it is that makes America beautiful, what it is that makes America good and therefore worthy of love. Only in this light can we see clearly what it is that might make America better and more beautiful.

In these stories, the mystic chords of memory stretch not only from battlefields and patriot graves, but from back roads, school yards, and bar stools, city halls, blues joints, summer afternoons, old neighborhoods, ball parks, and deserted beaches—from everywhere you find Americans being and becoming American. May each story in some small way awaken the better angels of our nature and welcome us into and encourage us to enrich the great American Story.

About Christopher Flannery

Christopher Flannery is a senior fellow of the Claremont Institute, contributing editor of the Claremont Review of Books, and author of The American Story podcast. He has published in academic periodicals including the Claremont Review of BooksAcademic QuestionsInterpretation, and The American Scholar, as well as chapters in several edited volumes. Chris was a professor in the Honor’s College at Azusa Pacific University, where he taught for over 30 years. He earned his bachelor’s degree from California State University, Northridge, his M.A., and Ph.D. in Government from the Claremont Graduate School, and an M.A. in International History from the London School of Economics and Political Science at the University of London.

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