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Condoleezza Rice on What Unifies Us As Americans


Published: November 27, 2019

What unifies us as Americans is an aspirational narrative. It does not matter where you come from, only where you are going. The energy, youthfulness, and risk-taking of immigrants who come from all over the world is what has made America what it is today.

This video’s audio is excerpted the American Conversation Essentials video series in conjunction with 92Y and the Hoover Institution.

Additional Resources:

  • Watch Rice discuss “American leading again” as part of the American Conversation Essentials series here.
  • Read “To Build a Better World” by Philip Zelikow & Condoleezza Rice, available here.
  • Read Rice’s book “No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington,” available here.


View Transcript


The United States of America is the most successful economic and political experiment in human history. 

We are not American because of nationality or ethnicity or certainly not because of religion. 

We are Muslim and Catholic and Protestant and Jewish and nothing at all and yet, we are all American. 

And so we need to refocus on why we have that unity and that unity is an aspirational narrative. 

It doesn’t matter where you come from. It matters where you’re going. 

You can come from humble circumstances, you can do great things. 

The key to that though has been to have people come from all over the world to be part of that narrative. 

It is the energy, the youthfulness, the ambition and risk-taking of immigrants that has made this country what it is.