Cover image for The great American handbook : what you can do for your country-- today and every day
The great American handbook : what you can do for your country-- today and every day
Sicard, Cheri.
Personal Author:
Berkley trade paperback edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Berkley Books, [2002]

Physical Description:
xv, 256 pages ; 18 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E158 .G825 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



What can I do to help? Great Americans are always ready to do their part, especially in times of trouble. But sometimes it's hard to know what needs to be done-or how to do it. This handbook has information, inspiration, and specific suggestions for Americans who want to do a little more, to make the bad times better...and the good times great. Be involved How to...* Volunteer * Strengthen the economy * Help the FBI fight crime * Start a petition * Safeguard our food supply * Send a letter to our troops overseas * and more Be informed How to...* Learn about the CIA, NASA, and other government organizations * Know how laws are enacted * Understand the electoral college system * Learn about our national symbol-the American Bald Eagle * and more Celebrate How to... * Sing the National Anthem (with all four verses) * Make a Stars and Stripes T-shirt * Plant a tree for Arbor Day * Take advantage of national treasures like parks and historic sites * Visit the Smithsonian * and more With detailed tips, online resources, and special features-from a complete list of the state capitals to an apple pie recipe-this book is a practical guide for anyone who wants to make America safer, stronger, and better.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Though somewhat simplistic in approach, this patriotic primer will appeal to a wide variety of contemporary Americans searching for common cultural and moral ground. In order to support and strengthen the nation, Sicard suggests that previously passive Americans become passionately active citizens. Dividing her subject material into three main categories, the author advises readers to get involved in the everyday business of the nation, to be informed about and understand both the history and the government of the U.S, and to proudly celebrate uniquely American traditions and holidays. While many of the practical tips offered--be an informed voter, pay your taxes, etc.--are self-evident, a wealth of trivia and lore transform this rudimentary guide to good citizenship into an irresistible slice of Americana. --Margaret Flanagan

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introductionp. xiii
Get Involved
Buy Americanp. 3
Be an Informed Consumerp. 4
Pay Your Taxesp. 10
Serve on a Juryp. 12
Support the American Red Crossp. 13
Spend Money/Invest Wisely in a Healthy Economyp. 16
Fill Out Your Census Formsp. 18
Buy Savings Bonds and Invest in Americap. 20
Consider a Career in the Militaryp. 23
Serve in the Reservesp. 28
Register with Selective Servicesp. 31
Support Our Men and Women in Uniformp. 34
Remembering Our POWs and MIAsp. 37
Be an Informed Voterp. 39
Contact Your Elected Officialsp. 42
Register for a Political Partyp. 45
Use the Internet to Get Politically Activep. 47
Apply for a Presidential Appointmentp. 50
Campaignp. 52
Reduce America's Oil Dependencep. 55
Recycle, Reuse, Conservep. 58
Safeguard America's Agriculturep. 60
Safeguard America's Water Supply and Our Environmentp. 62
Think Globally, Act Locallyp. 64
Be Smokey Bear's Friend and Help Prevent Forest Firesp. 67
Be Prepared for Emergencies and National Disastersp. 69
Help Eliminate Hungerp. 73
Join AmeriCorpsp. 74
Join the Peace Corpsp. 78
Help the FBI Fight Crimep. 81
Use the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Privacy Actp. 84
Help Airport Securityp. 88
Become a Permanent Resident or Naturalized Citizenp. 91
Volunteerp. 94
Be Informed
Learn About the Constitutionp. 99
Learn About the Constitutional Amendmentsp. 103
Learn How Laws Are Enactedp. 107
Learn the Chain of Command of the United Statesp. 110
Understand How the United States Government Is Structuredp. 112
Understand How and Why the Electoral College System Elects Our Presidentp. 116
Understand Campaign Financep. 119
Learn About the CIAp. 123
Learn About NASAp. 125
Use the Library of Congressp. 129
Learn About Social Securityp. 131
Know Your Presidentsp. 136
Know the United States, Territories and Possessionsp. 138
Know the National Mottop. 143
Know the American's Creedp. 144
Our National Symbol--the American Bald Eaglep. 146
Learn About the Great Seal of the United Statesp. 150
Get News from a Variety of Sourcesp. 152
Be an Informed Travelerp. 154
Three Essential Web Resources for Americansp. 157
Presidents Dayp. 161
George Washington's Birthdayp. 167
Abraham Lincoln's Birthdayp. 171
Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthdayp. 174
Memorial Dayp. 177
Have a Safe and Happy Independence Dayp. 180
Honor Veterans on Veterans Dayp. 182
Arbor Dayp. 187
Visit Our Nation's Capital--Tips for Touring D.C.p. 189
Visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Islandp. 194
Visit Our National Parksp. 199
Take In the Treasures of the Smithsonian Institutionp. 204
Sing the National Anthemp. 207
Top Ten Patriotic Music Selectionsp. 210
Display the National Flowerp. 213
Bake an Apple Piep. 214
Appendix A Flag Etiquettep. 221
Appendix B The Declaration of Independencep. 235
The Constitutionp. 241