Where We Stand

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

In response to the September 11, 2001, terrorist tragedy in America, Roger Rosenblatt seeks to provide comfort and resolve for Americans by recalling the core values that lie at the foundation of this great country. In thirty short essays, his discussions range from the Founding Fathers of America to the writing of the United States Constitution to baseball, lawyers, small towns, and school teachers, as he portrays the character of America in a variety of settings and circumstances. Along the way, he shares many of his personal political opinions, including increased government control, a boost in government spending, and the evils of censorship.

Overall, many of Rosenblatt’s essays are uplifting, patriotic, and ennobling. They are spiced with humor and optimism to help Americans better cope with challenge and adversity in the face of world upheaval. The essays establish thirty different avenues for exploring appreciation, support, and love for the United States of America. They praise the diversity of America and the opportunities that are available for anyone to be successful. In general, Rosenblatt accomplishes his primary goal of highlighting appreciation for what freedom really means.

On the other hand, the book is not as uplifting as the title may imply. Many of the essays seem redone, rather trite, boring, and pointless. In many cases, Rosenblatt uses emotionally-charged issues to subtly support his own political venues, including the promotion of increased gun control and downplaying the Bill Clinton scandal. He also refers to historical events with no references to check their accuracy. Considering the positives and the negatives, there is something of value for most every American who reads this book.