Living and Giving

How To Think About Our Future — “Things Worked Out”

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David McCullough, writer-historian

David McCullough has been a prolific historian in our lifetime, writing books about past and current day subjects that give relevance to our lives. He’s been on national public radio, he’s written biographies on Truman, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Panama Canal, John Adams, and he’s won Pulitzer Prizes. He brings the past into the present. He makes it alive, real, exciting, and “work-through-able.”


That means McCullough brings history alive bringing meaning to our day-to-day. How do we face the issues of our world? Has anyone been through such tensions? How did they approach challenges, and how can we learn?

What David McCullough writes is that many of the challenges in the past, through caring and hard work, have been resolved.  What a comforting feeling.

That means we, too, can resolve the challenges we face.


McCullough not only gives us perspective and practical solutions, but also a quiet confidence:

“…Things worked out — because individuals behaved in certain ways with integrity and resilience. They figured out how to work with other people and they tried to do the right thing. My hope is that these stories will inspire some readers to behave the same way in the face of uncertainty in their lives.”

We might be facing killings in our schools, but McCullough went through a Cold War where the world was almost decimated, there was nuclear weapons proliferation, and coups d’etat happened in numerous African countries. His time was equally as challenging as ours.

The lessons remain the same.

Stay grounded, calm, and committed to a peaceful truth.  If we act with integrity, if we listen to and help others, we’ll be on our pathway to peace and solutions. We can make this world, and our lives, “work-able.”



David McCullough is the winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, recipient of an honorary degree from Yale, winner of two National Book Awards, and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. McCullough was born in Pittsburgh in 1933, and was educated in Pittsburgh and at Yale. He loves to read, travel, and has always enjoyed art and architecture — in addition to writing award-winning books, he is a devoted painter. McCullough and his wife Rosalee Barnes McCullough have five children and nineteen grandchildren.