I am sure if my Father were alive today, I would have been given this book for Christmas. For my Father had the Canadian Bill of Rights framed and hung upon the wall, where he could see it every day, and he had the Constitution of the United States of America in pocket book form and he carried it with him every where he ventured and referred to it often. My Father’s passion for education and the people of Canada and the USA were matched by his knowledge of the Constitutions of each country and the brilliant pieces of work that they are and the power that they hold for all people was astounding to him. Bill Moyers obviously shares this passion for the Constitution and is a wonderful teacher of its wisdom and capacity to enhance the lives of all who understand it and can enjoy its bounty.
This book is a collection of Moyer’s speeches with a new preface to each speaking engagement of its nature and the context of the situation it was written for or for whom. The speeches begin in 1986 and are through 2007 and are divided into categories which cover topics from the heady early days of the origins of the Peace Corp – Service, History, Politics, Media, Religion, – and concludes with a recent commencement address at Hamilton College.
I read this book over a month’s time, trying to savor each speech one day at a time, but I found myself riveted on several evenings so engrossed and so wanting to know more that I could not limit myself to a speech a day rule. Mr. Moyer’s has a poetic style and the history of preaching in his presentations that just challenge me to adjust my thinking and look with old, middle of the road, and futuristic interpretation of what I am reading and how it pertains to my present circumstances. Bill Moyers has a love for his country that is reflected in his writing and his television programs and is easy to encounter and enjoy.
I leave the book, knowing that I will return to various speeches as I need inspiration and wondering what I can do to get our “checks and balances” system back in order and working for all the people. What actions do I need to take to honor the Constitution of this country and all of the citizens which will get us a return to the Constitution’s original intentions and celebrate the change in the world and our country at the same time?
What inspires me? A poem in the morning, good exercise, scripture and prayer and good hard work – by bedtime reading one of the speeches from this book – I recline with hope in my head and heart.
This book is a wonderful read and would make a terrific gift.