Hope and History is both a memoir and a call-to-action for the renewal of faith in democracy and America.
US Ambassador William J. vanden Heuvel presents his most important public speeches and writings, compiled and presented over eight decades of adventure and public service, woven together with anecdotes of his colorful life as a second-generation American, a soldier, a lawyer, a political activist, and a diplomat. He touches upon themes that resonate as much today as they did when he first encountered them: the impact of heroes and mentors, the tragedy of the Vietnam War, the problems of racism and desegregation in America, tackling the crisis in America’s prisons, America and the Holocaust, and the plight and promise of the United Nations. Along the way, he allows us to share his journey with some of the great characters of American history: Eleanor Roosevelt, William J. “Wild Bill” Donovan, President John F. Kennedy and RFK, Harry S. Truman, and Jimmy Carter.
Throughout, vanden Heuvel persuades us that there is still room for optimism in public life. He shows how individuals, himself among them, have tackled some of America’s most intractable domestic and foreign policy issues with ingenuity and goodwill, particularly under the leadership of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and those who sought and still seek to follow in his footsteps. He is not afraid to challenge the hatred and bigotry that are an unfortunate but undeniable part of the American fabric. He exhorts us to embrace all the challenges and opportunities that life in the United States can offer.
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About the Author
Table of Contents
ForewordIntroduction1. Growing Up in the Age of Roosevelt2. Heroes and Mentors: Roger Baldwin and William J. “Wild Bill” Donovan3. RFK, Prince Edward County, and the Revolution for Justice4. Prisons and Prisoners5. The Carter Presidency and the United Nations6. America and the Holocaust7. The Roosevelt Legacy8. Reflections on Years to Come
What People are Saying About This
"Bill vanden Heuvel's life has spanned a breath-taking part of our history as a nationone that has influenced our present position in the world. When Bill tells a story, you feel like you're living it with him. Reading this memoir will ignite a reflection on what we must do to move forward into this 21st century."
"Bill vanden Heuvel was a treasured and brilliant advisor to my father. Now, he has given all of us an even better gift: fascinating stories, drawn from a life at the center at of the action, where he grasped what was critical for freedom to flourish. He makes events come alive."
"Bill vanden Heuvel has written an eloquent story of his American journey. The desegregation of the public schools in Prince Edward County is a monument on the Freedom Trail and his role as ambassador to the United Nations during the Iran hostage crisis gives his voice special wisdom as a new generation takes hold."
"Through this exquisite rendering of Bill vanden Heuvel's remarkable life and career, readers will find exactly what the title suggestshope in our troubled times. A dazzling cast of historical characters comes to life in these pages, including Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt, JFK and RFK, James Baldwin, and Jimmy Carter. But the character who unites every chapter in this book is vanden Heuvel himselfa man whose career reminds us of how honorable public service can be."
"Bill vanden Heuvel represents something precious in the American character. Open, humble, optimistic, ambitious, his life story is an invitation to us all to do better. From Presidents to peasants, Bill is always learning and always contributing. We need more people like him."