We must all, each and every American, thank Penguin for assembling this great collection of historic American essays and speeches, above all the charter our President has made with our people.
President Barack Hussein Obama pledges: "We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness."
Thusly does our President set the difficult path we must walk in order to survive and to serve.
In this volume we may study carefully the brilliant words of our President, words each true American takes to heart, simple words from a brilliant leader. We find cornerstone phrases from past American leaders, in particular the Gettysburg Address, an earnest and simple cry for peace spoken by President Abraham Lincoln in the very heart of horrible war. We find here as well President Lincoln's First and Second Inaugural Addresses.
Above all we may here once more, and with renewed urgency, meditate the great essay by early American Transcendentalist philosopher and preacher, Ralph Waldo Emerson on Self-Reliance, an early indication of the heart and the spirit of America we do very well to restore, in order to restore our nation along the plan outlined in President Obama's great Inaugural Address.
We are fortunate therefore to find gathered under one cover these quintessentially American addresses, a collection which must grace each American hearth for daily reflection in these coming days.
Read this book. Every home in America must have this one book. Certainly we can watch President Obama's First Inaugural Address on the Internet, probably even on youtube, but we cannot hold it in our heart and hands as we can this book, with family and friends and loved ones gathered about us. We must read this book; we must read it together, and we must work together for the fulfillment of this dream for our survival in hope. As our President puts it so very well:
"With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.
Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America."