Article Title

On Patriotism


What’s so great about America?

Near the top of my list is sweet home Chicago—a mesmerizing metropolis, once home to generations of Illini, Winnebago, and Miami peoples, rising along the shore of that immense inland sea and sweeping toward the dazzling prairie just beyond.

There’s Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle and Sandra Cisneros’s The House on Mango Street, Saul Bellow’s The Adventures of Augie March, and Richard Wright’s Native Son. There’s Nelson Algren’s The Man with the Golden Arm and Studs Terkel’s Division Street, Gwendolyn Brooks’s Maud Martha and Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun.

So great, and there’s more: Haki Madhubuti, Kevin Coval, Eve Ewing, and Chance the Rapper, Chris Ware, and Aleksandar Hemon, the Wachowski siblings, Muddy Waters, and Howlin’ Wolf, Koko Taylor, and Yoko Noge, Lil Hardin, Bo Diddley, Jimmy McPartland, and the Sun Ra Arkestra. On and on.

What’s so great about America?

Author Biography

William Ayers

William Ayers, GSE ’87, Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar (retired) at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) has written extensively about social justice and democracy, education, and teaching as an essentially intellectual, ethical, and political enterprise. His books include A Kind and Just Parent; Teaching Toward Freedom; Fugitive Days; Public Enemy; On the Side of the Child; To Teach: The Journey, in Comics; and Demand the Impossible!



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.