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American Story: A Lifetime Search for Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things

3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  168 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
The host of the NBC "Today Show"'s popular segment shares his favorite stories of citizens making a difference around the country
For the six million people who watch the Emmy Award-winning "American Story with Bob Dotson" on NBC's "Today Show," Bob Dotson's reports celebrate the inspirational stories of everyday Americans. Dotson has been crisscrossing the country for mor
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ebook, 256 pages
Published March 26th 2013 by Viking Books (first published March 19th 2013)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Kim
Apr 13, 2013 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaway-books
I received this book from a giveaway here on Goodreads. I entered because I liked the premise of the book and felt it would be a good read. I was wrong.

It's a great read.

Bob Dotson takes you on a journey across the country and beyond to meet some of the nameless heroes and tireless givers of hope that help to make others shine. When I read a book, I tend to read some and then skim a sentence or two. I could not do it with this book. His stories held the right mixture of detail and truth that ke
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Donna
Mar 31, 2013 Donna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The stories were very good but I had a hard time following along...there wasn't a lot of detail but I guess most of the people he interviewed didn't want to be in the spotlight. I never saw his spots on the Today Show but think I may have enjoyed watching them better than reading about them. It still was very inspiring and nice to read about these extraordinary people and how they help others!
Cindy
Apr 13, 2013 Cindy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A little bit "dry". The stories seemed to run-on from one to another. Did not live up to my expectations. I was hoping for more.
Gerald
Aug 27, 2013 Gerald rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bob Dotson captures multiple glimpses of Americana in this very small volume which, though generally overlooked, are worthy of the highest praise. An un-employed truck driver took a job cleaning medical tools. Armed with only a high-school education and his innate ability, he began tinkering with those tools and soon perfected some of the earliest tools for microsurgeries. This led to his teaching surgery for more than 30 years.

Bob tells the tale of a young New York couple -- the Dwyers -- who
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Don Weidinger
Aug 28, 2013 Don Weidinger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
seeking solutions from those seldom asked, lottery for college, its so far away the mind is your best friend—island, quiet and listen for more, humor overcomes apathy quicker, dead chicken marketing, not do what like—like what do, persistence and patience, start everyday with nothing, adventure where resistance, Alaska dragon slayers, everything a variation of past patients, make a deal with heart/trust for lifetime, no try just do, all called to be Saints, sow seeds for good, birth is victory o ...more
Jennifer Hurley-coughlin
I highly recommend this book. While the writing is "old school journalism," I was entranced by the stories of real people. Yes, it made me laugh and cry. I even thought that some excerpts would be wonderful nonfiction to use in the classroom. However, the stories are forced to all flow from one to the next with contrived transitions that remind me of my journalism classes in college. That being said, this type of journalism is a dying breed and it made me nostalgic.
Traci Lee
Apr 12, 2013 Traci Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
The content of this book was uplifting. You see so many examples of people doing the right thing, helping others, and making a difference in the lives around them. It inspires you. The only difficulty I had with this book is sometimes things needed to be explained a bit better. You weren't always sure who the narrator was referring to, or when a new story started. But dealing with a bit of confusion occassionally does not take away from the message of the book.
Kathy
May 03, 2013 Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. Great book! Really puts the focus on the good that people still do in this country, even though it's not on the news. Makes me wonder why it's not! A lot of editing/grammar errors, but I had an "Advance Uncorrected Proof" copy so hopefully they found them all and fixed them!
Bernadette
Along the lines of a Chicken Soup for the Soul book, with a patriotic theme. Dotson expands his television interview stories and has found some amazing stories to tell. An OK read that maybe tries a little too hard to string the stories together in thematic chapters. Dotson shows a reporter's love for finding unique stories in unexpected places.
Sandi Widner
Apr 12, 2013 Sandi Widner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A ***** star review for "American Story: A Lifetime Search for Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things" by Bob Dotson

"American Story: A Lifetime Search for Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things" is a deeply moving and endlessly fascinating alternative narrative for everyone who yearns to feel good about America!
Laura
Apr 14, 2013 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this on cd. I liked it a lot, but by the end I was a bit worn out. I would have liked a few more in dept stories rather than such short snippets all the time. But I found myself telling people stories from this book as I listened. I also felt inspired to live a big life, and influence those around me. To be part of the real America.
Nancy
May 16, 2013 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the individual stories, but often found myself looking for more - and in some rare cases, less. The theme was there, but at the end I struggled to find that one story to use as an example when talking to folks aabout the book. There are gems that you need to go back and think about.
Alyssa
May 01, 2013 Alyssa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I saw this after reading a newspaper article based on one of his "American Stories", and it was an enjoyable, quick, light-hearted read. It read quickly and was a feel-good book. Definitely the kind of book I'd buy my dad for gift.
Adrian Jackson
May 05, 2013 Adrian Jackson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great stories! What a celebration of the American spirit. I enjoyed the colloquial tone of the story and the little bio bits from the author. I highly recommend this book whether you're a fan of Bob Dotson or not.
Lulu
Jun 01, 2013 Lulu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
A refreshing reminder about everyday, unsung heroes who all too often go unnoticed. These are the Americans we should be championing in the news rather than paying attention to Miley's latest meltdown or a Kardashian's latest divorce. An inspiring read.
Gary
Feb 15, 2014 Gary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You'd swear this book had been written by Charles Kuralt.
Theresa
Sep 18, 2013 Theresa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I really enjoyed all of the stories in this book. My only criticism is that it probably could have been organized a little better! It felt a little all over the place.
Sarah
May 21, 2013 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a feel good read about people Bob Dotson has meet in his career. It was an easy read with some really interesting stories.
Steve
Jul 16, 2013 Steve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book!!! Very, very inspirational. Tons of stories of just regular people.
C
May 21, 2013 C marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended in NF Webinar
Susan Copas
May 31, 2013 Susan Copas rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Just did not keep my interest stopped on page 25.
Andrew Setters
Jun 10, 2013 Andrew Setters rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A fantastic read. Not only an inspiring take on the American spirit, but a inspiring to me as a journalist.
Melanie
I love the idea that everyone has a story!
Sherry Griffin
Jun 23, 2013 Sherry Griffin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Good parts but a bit boring. Not completely happy with it. Parts of it are nice to read.
Sandra
A fun read which leaves me with hope for the United States,
April Hannah
A lovely collection of stories--a fun, feel-good read. Recommended!
Ken Kugler
Dec 18, 2014 Ken Kugler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
American Story, A Lifetime Search for Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things, by Bob Dotson, was an inspirational story. If you love watching cute puppies or kitten videos on You Tube you are going to love this. This book is made up of short stories strung together about inspiring people and how they helped others,overcame great odds, or influenced others.
So many times you only hear the bad goings in in the world. It was really nice reading about people who have done things for the desire o
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Vida
Aug 26, 2015 Vida rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The secret to happiness in life is "Not doing what you like, but liking what you do." - Joe Adis For those who love to read, this book is a delight! Short vignettes are interlaced with stories of Dotson's life and make for interesting, heartwarming and enjoyable reading. From Sister Katharine Drexel, Juan Delgado, Dr. Leila Denmark, Will Steger, Irena Sendler (a personal favorite) Aniak, Alaska, Mike Corbett/Mark Wellman,Rex Ziak, Jimmy Crudup, John Childs, DR. Dan Ivankovich, Leo Godowsky, Jr./ ...more
Kate
Feb 26, 2014 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you love Bob Dotson's American Story segments on NBC, you will equally love this book! Dotson's American Story: A Lifetime Search for Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things is a refreshing, feel good book. Most of us are constantly bombarded by negative stories in the media, but American Story is a delightful reminder that there are so many good people around us trying to make the world a better place. American Story is a celebration of the everyday unsung hero. I loved this book so much ...more
Carolynne
Bob Dotson collected many first-person accounts of people who had done amazing things. Ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Dotson collected these stories and presents them interspersed with interesting anecdotes from his own personal history.

This book is a collection of stories. Many, many stories. If one tries to read it at once, much is lost. It is best to read when one has the time to read it in small doses.

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