It is rare for me to find someone who shares the same passion for the untold stories of American history and its wonderful potential. Rich Trzupek is that person, and I was honored when he asked me to serve as editor of his book, and guide him through the trials and tribulations associated with bringing it to market.
Together, we birth his labor of love on George Washington’s Birthday, February 22, 2018, celebrating our first President as one of the great Americans of all time, and in full recognition that our country’s destiny has not yet been fulfilled.
America’s Journey: Underdog to Overlord, Regrets to Rebirth is a fascinating romp through America’s history with a candid look at how Americans’ self-perception has shaped not only our choices as a country over the years, but also carried through to our own self-image as Americans, and our role in the world today.
Consider it a 21st century selfie.
Rich recounts familiar events with new personalities and fresh vignettes, and introduces us to key influencers that you’ve probably never heard of. People like Winfield Scott who created the foundation for America’s military; Nikolai Tesla, who debated with Thomas Edison about the best standard to bring electricity into American homes and businesses (perhaps Elon Musk will have the final word on that); and Ken Kesey’s followers, The Merry Pranksters, who represented the 1960’s rebellion of baby-boomers. Interestingly, Rich, a fellow boomer, ends that chapter with the reflective question, “What the hell were we thinking?”
To quote a very insightful passage from the Preface:
The study of history is subjective, which makes it such an intellectual delight. It is the eternal search for patterns and themes, for causes and effects. The study of history, at its best, is akin to listening to a symphony: finding the common theme that brings all the movements together, enjoying the remarkable talent of a featured soloist, thrilling to the climactic overture. And let us not forget the sad adagio of human frailties and failings that constantly underscores the whole, sometime faintly, sometimes overwhelming the score, but always there.”
An armchair historian, Rich relies on his scientific training as air-quality expert and chemist to poke holes in America’s hysterical bouts over the decades, whether lauding Andrew Jackson as the greatest warrior for the Battle of New Orleans to Prohibition’s real damage to McCarthy-ism’s legacy to environmentalism hyperbole to our current debate on the so-called Islamic threat.
Having read and re-read every word, tweaking endlessly, I can honestly admit that each time drew me in deeper to the character of the nation I proudly call home. Most importantly, it serves as a kick-in-the-pants to start discussing how we got here and where we want to go. Each chapter and episode can serve as a talking point with family, friends, and co-workers about the circumstances behind our history, and the wonderful fact that something essential about America makes this, still, the greatest country on earth.
Isn’t it worth a little bit of daring and political in-correctness to keep America’s wonderful journey on track by starting the dialog?
America’s Journey: Underdog to Overlord, Regrets to Rebirth is available wherever books are sold in both paperback (ISBN 978-1983717116) and eBook formats. An audiobook version recorded by Rich will be available Summer, 2018. Rich Trzupek is also donating a portion of each book sale to the Wounded Warrior Project. You can find out more on his website.