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American Spirit: Profiles in Resilience, Courage, and Faith

American Spirit: Profiles in Resilience, Courage, and Faith

by Taya Kyle, Jim DeFelice


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Available for Pre-Order. This item will be available on April 28, 2020


The "American Sniper" legacy continues: Taya Kyle celebrates the American Spirit in her inspiring new book

Life leads us through difficult terrain. But what happens if you use challenge as an opportunity to discover your PURPOSE? These Americans did and are changing the world. 

After losing her husband, "American Sniper" Chris Kyle, bestselling author Taya Kyle entered a period of deep grief. And yet the experience served as a catalyst for profound growth. Taya found her own reserve of strength with the help of the generous love and support of family and friends—and also many strangers across America, who selflessly shared their own stories of suffering, survival, and triumph. Inspired by her experience, Taya discovered her calling: spreading a message of how love, passion, and service can combine to help us persevere over personal pain and heal our communities.

Working with trusted collaborator Jim DeFelice (coauthor of American Sniper and American Wife), Taya tells her own story, as well as those of other Americans who have built extraordinary lives after traveling down life’s most difficult roads—through loss, illness, all manner of setback. They embody the “American spirit” of resilience, faith, togetherness that has built the nation.

American Spirit profiles more than 30 individuals, young and old, rich and not-so-rich, famous and unknown, who have overcome hardship and done extraordinary things for their communities and for the nation at large. The 9/11 survivor, badly burned over 60% of his body, who asked himself What debt do I owe to God? And to my fellow human beings? What am I supposed to do with this miracle of survival? The man with the hole in his heart who runs ultramarathons. The young cancer victim whose lemonade stand inspired a revolutionary new model for fighting cancer. The blind cyclist; the pastor who became an undercover investigator, and more.

In the end, these stories teach us how to find purpose and heal the world, no matter the difficulty. “Every action, big or small,” Taya writes, “has the potential to spark someone else’s movement.”

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062683724
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/28/2020
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 1,060,860
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.83(d)

About the Author

Taya Kyle is executive director of the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation. Chris and Taya’s story was the subject of Clint Eastwood’s blockbuster film American Sniper, starring Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller. She is a featured speaker on the Patriot Tour, with Marcus Luttrell, David Goggins, and Chad Fleming. Taya is the New York Times bestselling author of American Wife. She lives in Texas.

Jim DeFelice is the co-author, with former U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, of the multi-million-copy bestseller American Sniper, the source for Clint Eastwood’s film starring Bradley CooperHis other books include Omar Bradley: General at War; Rangers at Dieppe; and West Like Lightning: The Brief, Legendary Ride of the Pony Express. He lives in upstate New York.

Table of Contents

Introduction Hoping

The Pioneer Spirit Lives On 3

1 Growing a Future

Our Kids as the Future 11

Trick, Treat, Triumph: Nick Blair 13

When Life Gave Him Cancer, He Made Lemonade: Ulises 16

Toward a Sweetish Cure: Alex's Lemonade Stand 20

The "Sweet Feet" Girls: Caressa and Marlee 32

Everyone Deserves a Family: Jim and Lori Word 36

Not Abandoned: Dream Makers 43

2 Getting Them There

Movers and Shakers 53

Soaring for Others: Angel Flight West 55

Bound for Glory-and Service: Brandon Gosselin 66

The Easy Way Kills You: Micah Fink 78

High Risk, Higher Reward: GearUp 86

3 To Help Others

Being Different 93

Getting Past Barriers: Jesse Saperstein 95

The Blind Bikers of Central Park: InTandem 104

You Belong Here: Brian Blackwell 115

Flipping the Pig: Amanda Kloo 121

Called to Be a Hero: Mona Ratelle 130

4 Moving Past Grief

Beyond Our Burdens 137

Finding Meaning in Loss: Lorraine Ash 141

Don't Be Inspired; Be Exceptional: Barbara Allen 153

Helping Families Recover: Erin's House 164

5 A Roof Over Their Heads

Giving Shelter 175

Little Houses, Big Hearts: Safe Haven 177

Get Up, Suit Up, Show Up: Solutions for Change 184

He's So Fly: Melanie and Marcus Luttrell 198

6 Giving Back

What Do We Owe? 205

Partying for Hope: Jay and Amy Novacek 207

MVP at Giving Dysphagia: Randall Telfer 212

Tie One on for a Cause: Dhani Jones 216

Bad-ass with a Heart of Gold: Jesse James 221

Summer Song: Zac Brown and Camp Southern Ground 227

Junking for Joy: Amie and Jolie Sikes 232

7 Honor, Memory, and Angels

Precious Resources 239

Honor and Heal: Veterans Memorial Museum 241

Perseverance and Remembrance: Kim Roller and the Indy 251

For Kids and Country: Angels of America's Fallen 258

Mr. Perseverance: David Goggins 267

8 Belief

Matters of Faith 277

Lead with Love: The Collins Family 279

Out of the Fire: Mel and Brian Birdwell 291

9 Spirit's Wings

Without Boundaries 307

Into Satan's Lair: The Exodus Road 309

Pioneer Abroad: Leslie Schweitzer 322


My Motto and Goal: Do More 335

Acknowledgments 347