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This I Believe II

More Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women

Jay Allison and Dan Gediman, eds.

Holt Paperbacks

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ISBN10: 0805090894
ISBN13: 9780805090895

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288 Pages

$16.00

CA$18.50

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This second collection of This I Believe essays gathers seventy-five essayists—including writers known and unknown—who complete the thought that begins in the book's title. Among the contributors are musicians Yo-Yo Ma and Béla Fleck, Nobel Prize Winner Elie Wiesel, the founder of the online community Craigslist.org and an anthropology student at the University of Chicago.

Sister Helen Prejean writes about learning what she truly believes through watching her own actions; singer Jimmie Dale Gilmore writes about a hard-won wisdom based on being generous to others, and Robert Fulghum writes about dancing all the dances for as long as he can. A diner waitress, an Iraq War veteran, and a new husband also add their voices to the collection of concise essays about music, skateboarding, success and failure, memory and identity.

Each piece, whether poignant or humorous, compels the reader to think about how they have formed their own personal beliefs and about the extent to which they express them to others. This edition also contains an appendix on how to write a This I Believe essay.

This I Believe II is also available on CD as an unabridged audiobook. Each essay is read by its author. Please email [email protected] for more information.

Reviews

Praise for This I Believe II

"This I Believe II features 75 pithy essays by authors young and old, famous and unknown, and engaged in every walk of life. In 'The Right to Be Fully American,' Pakistani-American Muslim attorney Yasir Billoo describes the anguish of being made to feel like a foreigner in your homeland, while virtuoso cellist Yo-Yo Ma expounds the benefits of cross-fertilizing cultures, both in life and in music. In 'The Faith That Brings Me Peace,' Betsy Chalmers describes how the implicit belief in marital faithfulness has enabled her to remain committed to her 30-year marriage to a convicted criminal; in 'God is God Because He Remembers,' Elie Wiesel puts the value of shared history into stark perspective. In the foreword, co-producer Jay Allison describes This I Believe as 'a snapshot of the convictions of our age.' Even a preliminary reading of the book will reveal that these varied convictions arise from a diverse range and depth of experiences."—Aisha Motlani, Shepherd Express (Milwaukee)

"In his introduction to This I Believe II, Jay Allison writes, 'In an age of irony, an earnest statement is a target.' Yet the long-running NPR series from which this collection of essays is drawn, and for which Allison is the host and curator, is exactly that: the earnest statements of people of every age, gender, race, religion and station of life about what is most significant to them. Almost every one of the 500-word essays is surprising in some way. If you're expecting tired platitudes about religion or family or patriotism, try this one: 'I believe in semi-permanent hair dye.' That's Amelia Baxter-Stoltzfus, who wrote her funny but insightful essay as a high school student. Or how about 'I believe in strange blessings,' the opening line of the essay by Robin Baudier, a young woman who found her life turned upside down by Hurricane Katrina—and found the good side of living in a FEMA trailer . . . By turns moving, thoughtful, cheering and heartbreaking, in an age of irony these essays offer a little something to believe in."—Colette Bancroft, St. Petersburg Times

"This book opens with a formidable challenge: 'What would you say in five hundred words to capture a core principle that guides your life?' Before you try to answer that question, you might want to read some of the 75 essays collected in This I Believe II: More Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women. Many will leave you breathless. And those that don't astonish may simply humble you . . . Many of these speakers articulate beliefs 'forged in hardship'–sometimes horrific experiences of tragedy, illness, or loss. Yet over and again they affirm the good to be gleaned–by those willing to recognize it–from the largest and the smallest lessons of human experience . . . The book's purpose, says Allison, is to 'counter . . . divisiveness' and 'raise a flag for thoughtfulness.' These essays do that but they also do something more: They speak to the best in all of us and leave us in awe of the unheralded virtue that surrounds us every day."—Marjorie Kehe, The Christian Science Monitor

"With times as bad as they are, perhaps a bit of inspiration is needed. If so, This I Believe II: More Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women fits the bill. The This I Believe project invites people to write 500-word essays on their personal philosophies. The result has been thousands of essays, which can be read on ThisIBelieve.org., where philosophies are continually added . . . Edited by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman, with John Gregory and Viki Merrick, in association with National Public Radio (NPR), this little volume will make you stop and think—and perhaps pick up a pen."—Chris Stuckenschneider, The Missourian

"In the second collection derived from the extraordinarily popular and influential National Public Radio program This I Believe, pithy, personal, and stealthily affecting essays grapple with life's big questions from myriad perspectives and with refreshingly positive energy . . . Infused with gratitude and hope, these declarations are at once grounding and uplifting."—Booklist

"Allison and Gediman's newest omnibus highlights 75 more essays from the archives of the successful NPR program, a contemporary version of Edward Murrow's classic radio show. Culled from writers both legendary and previously unfamiliar, each essayist presents what he or she believes in 500 words. From Robin Baudier's tract on Strange Blessings, detailing her experience living in her parents' FEMA trailer after the devastation of Katrina, to Michelle Gardner-Quinn's credo for upholding reverence for all life (Quinn was tragically murdered after completing this essay) to Kim Phuc's essay on Forgiveness, borne of her experience as that girl in the picture running naked, napalm-burnt on a road near Saigon, each micro-essay stuns with its singular beauty, lucidity and humility. Icons like Helen Prejean, Studs Terkel and Elie Wiesel find estimable company in heretofore unknown writers who distill their individual truths with affecting sincerity and admirable aptitude."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)


Table of Contents

Introduction
JAY ALLISON

Finding the Strength to Fight Our Fears
TERRY AHWAL

I Will Take My Voice Back
QUIQUE AVILES

A Silent Night That Brought Healing
STEVE BANKO

Living with Integrity
BOB BARRET

The Strange Blessing That Brought Me Home
ROBIN BAUDIER

Returning to What's Natural
AMELIA BAXTER-STOLTZFUS

The Right to Be Fully American
YASIR BILLOO

The Person I'm Supposed to Be
ANDY BLOWERS

Making It Up as I Go Along
ALICE BROCK

Sticking My Nose in the World's Business
BRIGID DAULL BROCKWAY

Teaching a Bad Dog New Tricks
DAVID BUETOW

The Learning Curve of Gratitude
MARY CHAPIN CARPENTER

Failure Is a Good Thing
JON CARROLL

The Faith That Brings Me Peace
BETSY CHALMERS

The Person I Want to Bring into This World
LAURA SHIPLER CHICO

The Deeper Well of Memory
CHRISTINE CLEARY

A Marriage That's Good Enough
CORINNE COLBERT

Creating Our Own Happiness
WAYNE COYNE

A Way to Honor Life
CORTNEY DAVIS

We Never Go Away
DENNIS DOWNEY

The Questions We Must Ask
TAMAR DUKE-COHAN

Learning True Tolerance
JOEL ENGARDIO

Doing Things My Own Way
BELA FLECK

Dancing All the Dances as Long as I Can
ROBERT FULGHUM

A Reverence for All Life
MICHELLE GARDNER-QUINN

A Feeling of Wildness
DAVID GESSNER

All the Joy the World Contains
JIMMIE DALE GILMORE

As I Grow Old
DAVID GREENBERGER

Untold Stories of Kindness
ERNESTO HAIBI

Peace Begins with One Person
IVORY HARLOW

Do What You Love
TONY HAWK

Combating the Tyranny of the Positive Attitude
BARBARA HELD

My Husband Will Call Me Tomorrow
BECKY HERZ

The Tense Middle
ROALD HOFFMANN

Living in the Here and Now
JEFFREY HOLLENDER

Inner Strength from Desperate Times
JAKE HOVENDEN

Becoming a Parent Is a Gift
CHRIS HUNTINGTON

Finding Redemption Through Acceptance
INTERROGATOR

Paying Attention to the Silver Lining
ANNALIESE JAKIMIDES

There Is No Blame; There Is Only Love
ANN KARASINSKI

The Universe Is Conspiring to Help Us
KEVIN KELLY

We All Need Mending
SUSAN COOKE KITTREDGE

Telling Kids the Whole Truth
MARTHA LEATHE

Every Person Is Precious
ISABEL LEGARDA

Navigating Turbulent Waters
JIMMY LIAO

All Beings Are Interconnected
JAMES LONEY

A Musician of Many Cultures
YO-YO MA

Being Content with Myself
KAMAAL MAJEED

Be Cool
CHRISTIAN MCBRIDE

That Old Piece of Cloth
FRANK MILLER

My Home Is New Orleans
MIKE MILLER

That Golden Rule Thing
CRAIG NEWMARK

My Personal Leap of Faith
BILL NUNAN

Admittance to a Better Life
MICHAEL OATMAN

Living What You Do Every Day
YOLANDA O'BANNON

The Long Road to Forgiveness
KIM PHUC

The Practice of Slowing Down
PHIL POWERS

Living My Prayer
SISTER HELEN PREJEAN

The Chance to Move Forward
MARIA MAYO ROBBINS

Utterly Humbled by Mystery
FATHER RICHARD ROHR

I Always Have a Choice
CATHERINE ROYCE

I Am Not My Body
LISA SANDIN

Resilience Is a Gift
JOEL SCHMIDT

The Designated Celebrator
MELINDA SHOAF

Baking by Senses and Memories
EMILY SMITH

Learning to Trust My Intuition
CYNTHIA SOMMER

An Optimistic View of the World
DAN TANI

Community in Action
STUDS TERKEL

Music Makes Me Come Alive
JOAN TOWER

God Is God Because He Remembers
ELIE WIESEL

The Guts to Keep Going
AMY LYLES WILSON

Freeing Myself Through Forgiveness
YOLANDA YOUNG

A Potential for Brutality
YINONG YOUNG-XU

A Duty to Family, Heritage, and Country
YING YING YU

We're All Different in Our Own Ways
JOSHUA YUCHASZ

Afterword
DAN GEDIMAN

APPENDIX A:
How to Write Your Own This I Believe Essay

APPENDIX B:
How to Use This I Believe in Your Community

Acknowledgments

Reading Group Guide

Reviews from Goodreads

MEDIA

Watch

This I Believe II Audiobook Excerpt--Robert Fulghum

Listen to Robert Fulghum, author of the bestselling book All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, talk about his belief in dancing in this audiobook excerpt from This I Believe II, edited by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman. This second collection of This I Believe essays gathers seventy-five essayists—ranging from famous to previously unknown—completing the thought that begins the book's title.

About the author

Jay Allison and Dan Gediman, eds.

Jay Allison is one of public radio's most honored producers. He has produced hundreds of nationally broadcast documentaries and features for radio and television. His work has earned him the duPont-Columbia and five Peabody Awards, and he was the 1996 recipient of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's Edward R. Murrow Award for outstanding contributions to public radio, the industry's highest honor. He was the curator and producer of This I Believe on NPR and he produces The Moth Radio Hour. Before his career in broadcasting, Jay was a theater director in Washington, D.C. He is also the founder of the public radio stations for Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, and Cape Cod where he lives.

Dan Gediman is the executive producer of This I Believe. His work has been heard on All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Fresh Air, Marketplace, Jazz Profiles, and This American Life. He has won many of public broadcasting's most prestigious awards, including the duPont-Columbia Award.

Nubar Alexanian

Jay Allison

Official Links

Nubar Alexanian

Dan Gediman

Official Links