RaveThe Buffalo NewsThe American Spirit is as inspirational as it is brilliant, as simple as it is sophisticated. It will at the same time make you laugh and give rise to tears of despair ... This is not patriotic boilerplate. McCullough is a historian and a realist. He sees his nation with all its warts, beginning with its indelible birthmark of slavery and continuing through to today’s government dysfunction and political polarization. Yet he remains confident and upbeat ... McCullough’s speech-making, like his writing, is highly literate and intelligent, yet uncluttered. He never panders to his literacy. This book is brief enough to read in one sitting, but it might be better to savor one talk at a time, letting each sink in before taking on the next.