Whether it’s via their tone, topic, or tenor, certain works just say “America.” Here are two such titles, suggested by Max Rudin, president and publisher of Library of America:
“The Longest Day: The Classic Epic of D-Day, June 6, 1944” by Cornelius Ryan and “The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration” by Isabel Wilkerson. “I keep thinking about [these] two books by journalists-turned-narrative-historians who used interviews with hundreds of individual participants to tell stories that have both intimacy and epic sweep,” says Rudin. “They are quite different, but both have as themes the personal qualities that impel people to make/participate in world-historical events. They’re both beautifully written and staged, and they’ve both taught me a lot about the possibilities of history writing.”
Patriotic Picks is a monthly feature in partnership with the Washington Independent Review of Books.