Wednesday, June 23, 2010

This I Believe: the Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women

Edited by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman
Henry Holt & Company, 2006

This book contains the personal philosophies of famous and "average" men and women from all walks of life. The collection includes, for example, essays by Isabel Allende, William F. Buckley, Jr., Albert Einstein, Helen Keller, as well as those written by a lawyer in Brooklyn, a woman who sells advertising for the Forth Worth Yellow Pages, and a man who serves on the parole board for the state of Rhode Island. The editors profile stories that reflect guiding principles and values, not those that would focus on pious platitudes, dogma, or narrow prejudice, so you will find here people who believe in Barbie, or that it's important to "be cool to the pizza dude," or that one ensures prosperity by feeding the monkeys on one's birthday. There are those who believe in God, those who don't, and those who believe in the sun. In other words, expect an eclectic, diverse set of beliefs that will challenge you to think about your own.

The editors offer guidelines for writing out your beliefs and maintain a website where you can submit your personal essay. There you can also read other people's essays - both from the original 1950s series and those that have been more recently penned. There's already a This I Believe II, so who knows? Maybe your essay will be published in an upcoming volume as well.

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