A recent book titled “These Truths,” by Jill Lepore, has been characterized as a history of the United States.
It starts with 1492 and leads up to the current status of the presidency. Its view of history is important since there are many books that have been written as history, some nonfiction and some fiction, but this one brings forth the many factors that have illuminated the American history, looking at the origins and rise of a divided nation. It is perhaps as divided today as it ever has been, except maybe during the time of the Civil War.
The author looks at events, presidents, wars and other features that affect regions such as the Pocono-Northeast and other regions. She looks at citizens, people of all persuasions and other factors that have brought this nation and to where it is today. Immigration is an important elements as the nation has been impacted greatly by the influx of people who became citizens across decades of growth that has led to the multitude that inhabits this great country. Citing the Constitution, Article IV, Section 2 that “citizens of each state shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several states”, she suggests that Alexander Hamilton believed to be the “ basis of the union.”
Consider what this region is today relative to the creative and staying power of a people who have overcome recessions and major obstacles regarding economic growth and used assets of the region to withstand liabilities that could have overpowered the economic diversity enabling the region to compete, both domestically and globally. The Constitution is shown as a floating dock, rising and falling with the tide and time of circumstance as quoted by James Montgomery Beck, who was called “Mr. Constitution.”
It suggests that perhaps in this region, there should be a constitutional assembly to enhance the role of governments and people to establish principles that would guide this geography to the year 2100. Such a system might well be organized by bringing together all parts of the economy, private, public, and nonprofit.
Pointing to actions that bring forth positive change, the author suggests that Winston Churchill believed that the Lend-Lease Act, which saved the United Kingdom during World War II, was “ the most unsordid act in the history of any nation.” The Marshall Plan was another program that led to the restoration of Europe after World War II. These and other elements have marked the history of this nation as a leader in meeting the needs of others, and to some extent is the role of astonishing creativity.
Some say this region includes the “Valley with a heart” which points to much of Luzerne County. But it is true in pf other regional places as well. While the League of Nations failed after World War I, the United Nations still is in place despite difficulties tries to meet humanistic obligations across the globe. In this region, former Gov. William W. Scranton served as U.N. ambassador during his amazing career of public service. Our history, today, is one of innovation with the plethora of centers of small businesses startups, a growing number of projects that help instill technology, academia, and private sector investment, and a host of other influences to help continue a diverse set of economic and powerful changes in this century.
In fact, there was, many years ago, a regional idea to create a ”silicon valley” approach to regional economic life and there was the idea of Wall Street West after 9/11, but it never became reality. It should not be forgotten as part of our future history. Technology such as Facebook, Google, and others have come to this region now form a part of what is likely to be defined in regional history. Disruptive innovation has become a key indicator of change such as bank mergers, media options, and more. These factors were spelled out in the book, but have distinctive relevance regionally.
The role of “fake news” and alternative facts, are scare tactics that challenge responsible journalism that is key to American life. They are also key to what occurs regionally, and are outstanding elements for the role that the media play in meeting the information needs about what happens in the region. The issue of journalism and factual bases for resolving views that have both positive and negative consequences is a role that should become an opportunity for handling problems facing this region. It is why there should be a book like Lepore has written for this region, perhaps through the work of the many colleges and universities inside the Pocono-Northeast.
This region should be ruled by a variety of choices that Hamilton portrayed. He believed that the new nation should be ruled by refection and choice and not by accident and force. It is something that is important for the future of a region that may be destined for greatness and truly be competitive in a worldwide economy. Here are a few ideas.
— Create a regional commission on truth and justice that can focus on ways to improve these topics in coming years.
— Establish a regional citizens council that can enhance the role of citizens and help bring their views to the forefront.
— Organize a regional history and civics process tp lead to a better vision of the future.
— Focus attention on step that can lead to the region becoming a replica of technology centers that have sprung up elsewhere in the nation.