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Profiles in Courage for Our Time by Caroline Kennedy


Rating: (Recommended)


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Campfire Stories

Caroline Kennedy has edited a collection of fourteen essays about Profile in Courage award winners over the past decade. Profiles in Courage for Our Time present reflective and inspirational stories about individuals who faced opposition for standing firm for what they believed. He stories tell as much about the tactics of those opposed to the award winners as about the character of the courageous.  Here’s an excerpt from the end of Marian Wright Edelman’s essay about Dr. Corkin Cherubini, the sixth winner of the Profile in Courage Award. Cherubini was superintendent of schools in Calhoun County Georgia and attacked race-based student tracking.

“It is always the courage acts of a few people that keep the world moving forward. In Dr. King’s wise words: ‘Human progress is neither automatic not inevitable. Even a superficial look at history reveals that no social advance rolls in on the wheels of inevitability. Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.’ Similarly, John F. Kennedy pointed out in Profiles in Courage, ‘The stories of past courage … can teach, they can offer hope, they can provide inspiration. But they cannot supply courage itself. For this each man must look into his own soul.’ Dr. Corkin Cherubini looked into his own soul and made the choice to stand up for justice and for all the children of Calhoun County, Georgia. Because he did, he is indeed a profile in courage. His courageous act was especially important because he stood up for children, who cannot vote, lobby, or speak for themselves and cannot contribute to the next campaign or turn out in the next election. I hope Dr. Cherubini’s example of servant leadership will inspire all of us to care, and to serve, and to stand courageously until we become a nation where no child is left behind.”

Some essays are written better than others, but all are inspiring to read, whether you knew much about the individual profiled or not. Here are the fourteen profiles and authors:

Carl Elliott, Sr., by Michael Beschloss
Charles Longstreet Weltner by Bill Kovach
Lowell Weicker, Jr. by E.L. Dionne
James Florio by Anna Quindlen
Henry B. Gonzalez by Pete Hamill
Michael L. Synar by Steven V. Roberts
Corkin Cherubini by Marian Wright Edelman
Charles Price by Maryanne Vollers
Nickolas C. Murnion by Ron Suskind
The Irish Peacemakers by Michael Daly
John McCain and Russell Feingold by Albert R. Hunt
Hilda Solis by Anythony Walton
Gerald R. Ford by Bob Woodward
John Lewis by Teresa Carpenter

Some of the stories of personal courage will bring tears to your eyes. Each story will inspire you.

Steve Hopkins, June 26, 2002


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The recommendation rating for this book appeared in the August 2002 issue of Executive Times


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