I just read a book recommended by my grandson: THE TRUE AMERICAN:  MURDER AND MERCY IN TEXAS by Anand Giridharadas (2014). 

It tells a story of revenge and forgiveness after 9/11.  A novel, based on fact and extensive historical research.  

Asks a question:  who is the true American?  Or maybe, what is the true America?

A Dallas character in the story, anti-death-penalty activist and peace studies teacher Rick Halperin, said of this story:  “I don’t know any other story that would raise the issues to make America look at itself the way this case does.”

To help America look at itself is the purpose of our inquiry into American exceptionalism.  For our own good, individually and nationally, nothing is so useful as honest self-evaluation.  

Maybe there is no “true” American, and no “true” America.  We and it are all a mixture of true and false, good and bad, right?  But even if that is your starting assumption, more or less true, more or less good still matter, do they not?

So today I recommend reading this book, or reading some reviews of it.  What is the true meaning of America’s response to 9/11?  Did the Texas murderer or the Bangladeshi Muslim immigrant get it closer to right? 
John K. Stoner  5/29/20