The Founders wrote in 1776 that "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" are unalienable American rights. In The Pursuit of Happiness in Times of War, Carl M. Cannon shows how this single phrase is one of almost unbelievable historical power. It was this rich rhetorical vein that New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and President George W. Bush tapped into after 9/11 when they urged Americans to go to ballgames, to shop, to do things that made them happy even in the face of unrivaled horror. From the Revolutionary War to the current War on Terrorism, Americans have lived out this creed. They have been helped in this effort by their elected leaders, who in times of war inevitably hark back to Jefferson's soaring language. If the former Gotham mayor and the current president had perfect pitch in the days after September 11, so too have American presidents and other leaders throughout our nation's history. In this book, Mr. Cannon-a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist-traces the roots of Jefferson's powerful phrase and explores how it has been embraced by wartime presidents for two centuries. Mr. Cannon draws on original research at presidential libraries and interviews with Gerald R. Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton, among others. He discussed with the presidents exactly what the phrase means to them. Mr. Cannon charts how Americans' understanding of the pursuit of happiness has changed through the years as the nation itself has changed. In the end, America's political leaders have all come to the same conclusion as its spiritual leaders: True happiness-either for a nation or an individual-does not come from conquest or fortune or even from the attainment of freedom itself. It comes in the pursuit of happiness for the benefit of others. This may be one truth that contemporary liberals and conservatives can agree on. John McCain and Jimmy Carter both envision happiness as a sacrifice to a higher calling, embodied in everything from McCain's time as a prisoner of war to the N
Carl M. Cannon is a White House correspondent for National Journal, Washington's highly respected, non-partisan weekly journal on politics and government. Previously he worked for six different newspapers over a twenty-year span. He was a member of the San Jose Mercury News staff awarded the Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Loma Prieta earthquake in the San Francisco Bay area in 1989. He has written for numerous magazines including The Atlantic Monthly, New Republic, Forbes ASAP, Brill's Content, George, Mother Jones, and National Review. He is the coauthor of Boy Genius, a new book about top White House adviser Karl Rove. A native of San Francisco, Cannon attended the University of Colorado at Boulder and currently resides in Arlington, Virginia.
Chapter 1 Preface Chapter 2 I American Pie Chapter 3 II A Felicitous Choice of Words Chapter 4 III Everywhere in Chains Chapter 5 IV Unfinished Work Chapter 6 V "Peace Now!" Chapter 7 VI Happy Warriors Chapter 8 VII More Unfinished Work Chapter 9 VIII Pursuit of Knowledge Chapter 10 IX True Happiness Chapter 11 X Freedom Man Chapter 12 Epilogue