In this feature of the Washington Watch, WW will primarily suggest books you may find interesting but may also now and then mention a TV program and other things. I welcome your suggestions and your input. What have you been reading or watching that you think WW readers might like?
Out of Many, One: Portraits of America’s Immigrants
George W. Bush
In this powerful new collection of oil paintings and stories, President George W. Bush spotlights the inspiring journeys of America’s immigrants and the contributions they make to the life and prosperity of our nation.
The issue of immigration stirs intense emotions today, as it has throughout much of American history. But what gets lost in the debates about policy are the stories of immigrants themselves, the people who are drawn to America by its promise of economic opportunity and political and religious freedom—and who strengthen our nation in countless ways.
In the tradition of Portraits of Courage, President Bush’s #1 New York Times bestseller, Out of Many, One brings together forty-three full-color portraits of men and women who have immigrated to the United States, alongside stirring stories of the unique ways all of them are pursuing the American Dream. Featuring men and women from thirty-five countries and nearly every region of the world, Out of Many, One shows how hard work, strong values, dreams, and determination know no borders or boundaries and how immigrants embody values that are often viewed as distinctly American: optimism and gratitude, a willingness to strive and to risk, a deep sense of patriotism, and a spirit of self-reliance that runs deep in our immigrant heritage.
In these pages, we meet a North Korean refugee fighting for human rights, a Dallas-based CEO who crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico at age seventeen, and a NASA engineer who as a girl in Nigeria dreamed of coming to America, along with notable figures from business, the military, sports, and entertainment. President Bush captures their faces and stories in striking detail, bringing depth to our understanding of who immigrants are, the challenges they face on their paths to citizenship, and the lessons they can teach us about our country’s character.
As the stories unfold in this vibrant book, readers will gain a better appreciation for the humanity behind one of our most pressing policy issues and the countless ways in which America, through its tradition of welcoming newcomers, has been strengthened by those who have come here in search of a better life.
The Hero Code
Admiral H. McRaven (U.S. Navy Retired)
The Hero Code is Admiral McRaven’s ringing tribute to the real, everyday heroes he’s met over the years, from battlefields to hospitals to college campuses, who are doing their part to save the world.
When Bill McRaven was a young boy growing up in Texas, he dreamed of being a superhero. He longed to put on a cape and use his superpowers to save the earth from destruction. But as he grew older and traveled the world, he found real heroes everywhere he went — and none of them had superpowers. None of them wore capes or cowls. But they all possessed qualities that gave them the power to help others, to make a difference, to save the world: courage, both physical and moral; humility; a willingness to sacrifice; and a deep sense of integrity.
The Hero Code is not a cypher, a puzzle, or a secret message. It is a code of conduct; lessons in virtues that can become the foundations of our character as we build a life worthy of honor and respect.
Justice, Justice Thou Shalt Pursue: A Life’s Work Fighting for a More Perfect Union
(Law in the Public Square) (Volume 2)
Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s last book is a curation of her own legacy, tracing the long history of her work for gender equality and a “more perfect Union.”
In the fall of 2019, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg visited the University of California, Berkeley School of Law to deliver the first annual Herma Hill Kay Memorial Lecture in honor of her friend, the late Herma Hill Kay, with whom Ginsburg had coauthored the very first casebook on sex-based discrimination in 1974. Justice, Justice Thou Shalt Pursue is the result of a period of collaboration between Ginsburg and Amanda L. Tyler, a Berkeley Law professor and former Ginsburg law clerk.
During Justice Ginsburg’s visit to Berkeley, she told her life story in conversation with Tyler. In this collection, the two bring together that conversation and other materials—many previously unpublished—that share details from Justice Ginsburg’s family life and long career. These include notable briefs and oral arguments, some of Ginsburg’s last speeches, and her favorite opinions that she wrote as a Supreme Court Justice (many in dissent), along with the statements that she read from the bench in those important cases. Each document was chosen by Ginsburg and Tyler to tell the story of the litigation strategy and optimistic vision that were at the heart of Ginsburg’s unwavering commitment to the achievement of “a more perfect Union.”
In a decades-long career, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an advocate and jurist for gender equality and for ensuring that the United States Constitution leaves no person behind. Her work transformed not just the American legal landscape, but American society more generally. Ginsburg labored tirelessly to promote a Constitution that is ever more inclusive and that allows every individual to achieve their full human potential. As revealed in these pages, in the area of gender rights, Ginsburg dismantled long-entrenched systems of discrimination based on outdated stereotypes by showing how such laws hold back both genders. And as also shown in the materials brought together here, Justice Ginsburg had a special ability to appreciate how the decisions of the high court impact the lived experiences of everyday Americans. The passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in September 2020 as this book was heading into production was met with a public outpouring of grief. With her death, the country lost a hero and national treasure whose incredible life and legacy made the United States a more just society and one in which “We the People,” for whom the Constitution is written, includes everyone.