Home Recommended Reading Workshops About RSS

MY COUNTRY ‘TIS OF THEE: My Faith, My Family, Our Future ~ Keith Ellison

The First Muslim American Elected to Congress:

“When Americans are challenged, we generally rise to the occasion.  When we’re fearful, we generally become divided.  When we’re courageous and have good leadership, we unite.”


MY COUNTRY ‘TIS OF THEE is about being the first to do something.  In this book we discover the backstory of what it is like to be the first Muslim to be elected to Congress in the USA.  This is a significant story of how one accomplishes any action of being first to succeed. I believe the story is even more important because Ellison was born a US citizen and is from a family of many generations of US Citizens.  Minnesota’s 5th District Congressional Representative was born in Detroit to an educated couple and was the middle son of a family of 5 sons.  His mother is a devout Catholic and in a professional career, his father was a free-spirit and a psychologist.  One of his brothers is a Baptist Pastor and almost all have law degrees. Ellison became Muslim during college because the peaceful nature of the religion and the daily practices and study helped him center and mature as an adult.

“If I was going to complain about injustice, didn’t I have an obligation to try to fix it?  Complaining without offering a solution is whining.”

Keith Ellison went to college and then to Law School.  He went to fine colleges and participated in all the offerings.  He did not go to the Ivy League and did not attempt to be someone else.  He practiced law, got married, shared life with 4 children, worked within his community, and practiced his faith.  He recognized when he made miss steps and mistakes, acknowledged those actions and then worked to improve his balance.  He became an astute judge of comments and assertions which were false, racist, and sexist and he looked to educate and expose rather than shout and whine.

“Islam teaches that men and women are equal before God.  So why do we have these draconian laws subjugating women in some Islamic nations?  Because people confuse faith with customs, laws, and politics.”

I finished the book believing that Ellison was a good representative for his district in Minnesota and he was a focused individual about what was good for democracy and all the citizens of our country.  He is knowledgeable about many faiths, politics, communities and the law and I think he serves his country well and with great hope.  He represents his whole district and their needs and wants.  At this time, he is not one of the political “stars”, but rather a solid representative doing the best he knows how to do.  If he can remain in office, I believe we will eventually describe him as a Statesman for our time.

Net Galley sent an uncorrected proof copy of this book via KINDLE and asked that I review it.  It was an interesting story and I am grateful for the opportunity to read it and share MY COUNTRY ‘TIS OF THEE with my readers.

Keith Ellison on Wikipedia
Keith Ellison on Facebook

If you purchase anything from Amazon or Powell’s  from this site, I will receive a few beans in my bucket. Donations also welcomed. Thank you for your support.

Sharing is a good thing – will you pass this on, please!

Related:
The Lemon Treex 
Revere Beach Elegy
Moyers On Democracy
The Social Animal

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

11 Responses to “MY COUNTRY ‘TIS OF THEE: My Faith, My Family, Our Future ~ Keith Ellison”

  1. Deborah Barker Says:

    It sounds an interesting and possibly, inspiring book Patricia. You do have a typo on your post (Muslin instead of Muslim in the first paragraph which reminded me of a friend of mine, describing what she wanted at her bathroom window as, “A nice piece of Muslim”. It is always good to be the first to read something and your review is good as always. I have 50 books I won, to plough through at the moment but I am still watching your list for ‘must reads’ – I think I will share the 50 books among family – they are queuing up to read them! :-)

    Patricia Reply:

    Deborah,
    thank you for the heads up, I will let my IT person know – I read 5 books in 7 days last week, two of them over 500+ pages, I will not do that again. It was extremely early in the wee hours when I edited – so happy only one error.

    It was an inspiring read – I am sure that he is being harassed daily for being a Muslim and I see that the NRA has placed an AD on my blog today because of the subject matter….I am sure 100s of ab***t*on disgusting emails are awaiting in my spam box because I did this review.

    This country is in a world of hurt and propaganda right now This was an extremely positive book
    Patricia recently posted..MY COUNTRY ‘TIS OF THEE: My Faith, My Family, Our Future ~ Keith EllisonMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Congratulation on winning the books – yes it is good to share. I have 36 books on my schedule right now through July, I am going to go light and easy in August to avoid the overwhelm of too many books!

  2. Laurie Buchanan Says:

    Patricia – I’m cracking up at Deborah Barker’s comment; it struck my funny bone just right.

    I particularly resonated with your observation:

    “At this time, he is not one of the political “stars”, but rather a solid representative doing the best he knows how to do.”

    That’s probably the very ingredient that’s making him the positive influence that he is :)
    Laurie Buchanan recently posted..Sink a Joe — Shift a ShackMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Laurie,
    I think we need some honest, plain folks in our system and maybe having to constantly explain his faith is a good thing for all of us to hear and know.

    It was a good read

  3. Talon Says:

    Patricia, first, thank you for the your thoughtful and honest answer to my “Creatively Speaking” post. I, for one, appreciate your thought-filled and wonderful reviews. Those who haven’t had the great opportunity to make your acquaintance are missing out. Those that haven’t been touched by your wisdom, too, have lost something super fine.

    Imagine having to constantly explain why you choose to believe what you believe? It would wear my spirit down. Kudos to Mr. Ellison for not only enduring, but flourishing.
    Talon recently posted..Night SongMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Kim
    My comment on your site just rolled out via my fingers on the keyboard. It was wonderful to say it and clarify for my self.

    I can truly identify with Ellison and know the experience in another arena intimately. Wearing one down is almost the least of it – all the name calling and negative rhetoric here in the US is just exhausting, but that is what some folks are hoping for – voter fatigue.

    Hard to stay in the present tense
    Patricia recently posted..MY COUNTRY ‘TIS OF THEE: My Faith, My Family, Our Future ~ Keith EllisonMy Profile

  4. Hilary Says:

    Hi Patricia .. I haven’t been over for ages – and not reading … makes comprehending some things a mini-challenge in this time pressed world … but life I think is beginning to look like there might be light at the end of the tunnel – and books will get added in to the mix -including the City one you sent me ..

    I haven’t read the post .. but have the comments so I’ve got the gist .. and yes – he does sound like an interesting man with some, no doubt, sensible and fair ideas on life ..

    Cheers for now – the A-Z carries on … and I’m still drafting! All the best – Hilary
    Hilary recently posted..H is for Habitat, Hardcases, Harbours …My Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Hilary,
    Thank you for coming by and commenting. I love reading your A-Z challenges so much.

    I may not always get to comment with so many books ahead in my reading challenge.

    So happy to touch base :)
    Patricia recently posted..MY COUNTRY ‘TIS OF THEE: My Faith, My Family, Our Future ~ Keith EllisonMy Profile

  5. Sam Juliano Says:

    Certainly an amazing and fascinating story. I must admit I was dumbfounded when you described his all-American upbringing from a Catholic family, and hadn’t reckoned he had changed his religion in college because of the peaceful tenets of the teachings. But fair enough. He represents a unique addition to the political-cultural melting pot known as America and you have undoubtedly written one of your very greatest reviews Patricia!

    Patricia Reply:

    Sam,
    I know I was confused about his background before to reading the book too!
    It was interesting to read book and thus I believe the review is interesting also. Thank you for you kind words.

    I found it very interesting that the publishing review company could not get folks to read or write a review for them – well they are free reviews for a book, but I think Muslim had a big part of the rejection

    I wish I had it in print to share with local high schools
    Patricia recently posted..MY COUNTRY ‘TIS OF THEE: My Faith, My Family, Our Future ~ Keith EllisonMy Profile