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Looking for My Country: Finding Myself in America (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 6. Mai 2003

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Gebundene Ausgabe, 6. Mai 2003
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Looking for My Country, the biography of the former co-host of The MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour, is one part snappy and readable memoir and one part examination of the meaning of nationality. We learn of MacNeil's childhood years growing up in Halifax, Nova Scotia, his three marriages, his early aspirations to be a stage actor and a writer, and of his lengthy and prestigious career in journalism. As a journalist, MacNeil worked for the CBC, Reuters, the BBC, NBC and finally PBS, covering many of the major events of the second half of the 20th century, including the Cuban missile crisis, the assassinations of John F Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Robert Kennedy, the 1976 election of Québec's openly separatist Parti Québécois, and the end of the cold war.

At the core of the book is the story of one man's search for his national identity. Early on MacNeil admits "For a long time, I was a man with a nationality but no inner country; or a man with a country but no psychic nationality". Of his years living and working in England he says "I knew immediately that I was not English and did not want to try to become English". As his career advanced, turning him into one of America's most recognised journalists, this struggle continued. He was, he says, "holding America in a kind of probation", recognising that "the emotional coolness Canadians of my background tended to exhibit" created his journalistic persona.

By the mid-90s, thoroughly immersed in the social and cultural life of his adopted home, New York City, MacNeil applied for US citizenship, receiving it in 1997. But, he adds, it was the events of September 11, 2001 that "removed any emotional reservations about becoming an American... Four years after I became an American citizen in law, I had become an American in my heart". Looking for My Country is both a candid story of one man's voyage through history and an equally compelling account of an emotional and psychological journey toward national identity. --Michael Ryan, Amazon.com


“…an entertaining and thought-provoking excursion through [MacNeil’s] life.…MacNeil is a fine writer and he has crafted an intelligent and insightful book that captures an era of world events from someone sitting in a front row seat.”
The Globe and Mail

“As might be expected from a newsman whose balanced approach has made him the thinking man’s television journalist, the book is articulate and reasoned.”
The Edmonton Journal

“Gracefully written and pleasing in its insights and bemusements, MacNeil's memoir is a cut above the pack.”

“I have long known MacNeil to be a thoughtful reporter and a good writer. It is the passion here that makes the difference. This is the psychological journey of a somewhat cool Canadian who comes over time to be deeply affected by the human reality of America in ways he had not anticipated. It is very moving being on the journey with him.”
—Peter Jennings, ABC News

"How nice for this country that Robert MacNeil, after many, many years, became an American citizen. And, how lucky for us that he decided, in this charming, thoughtful, very nuanced book, to tell us why he did it, what is special about America, and what pulled him to becoming one of us."
—David Halberstam

“A deft, entertaining memoir, and an engagingly honest exploration of how a man comes to understand something about himself and his loyalties.”
—Alice Munro

“Robert MacNeil’s quite wonderful new memoir. …. A considered, thoughtful and disciplined book.”
—Noah Richler, National Post

“[A] conversational and appealing memoir”
The Washington Post

“[A] compellingly readable account of a life in news. … [A] fascinating tale of politics and broadcasting with some personal history to boot.”
The Sun Times (Owen Sound)

“The author of three novels and two previous memoirs has written an unassuming, nicely qualified valentine to his adopted country, a book that feels Canadian in tine and like a New Yorker’s in spirit. Which makes perhaps the best argument for one of MacNeil’s points — that there are, after all, many ways to be American.”

“This book is a poignant memoir and a piercing analysis revealing his complex and frequently contradictory feelings about becoming a United States citizen.”
The Pictorial Gazette (Connecticut)

[T]his is a thoughtful and intelligent examination by a nationally famous import who found his place in a land of immigrants.”
Publishers Weekly

Praise for the works of Robert MacNeil:
“[Wordstruck] draws us into an appreciation of language that seems rare in this crass and overbearing age. . . . Mr. MacNeil makes his readers care.”
The New York Times Book Review

“Robert MacNeil . . . has written a book that’s a love letter to the English language and, at the same time, something of an autobiography. [Wordstruck is] a beautiful little book.”
Quill & Quire

Wordstruck heads straight for the heart.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“[Burden of Desire is] a powerful piece of work . . . a tremendous story.”
The Washington Post Book World

“[With Burden of Desire] Robert MacNeil . . . proves himself a novelist of both large and subtle gifts. . . . A perfect fusion of events and character. . . . Riveting.”
Chicago Tribune

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