TORONTO (Canada), September 25 – If the United States is to be trusted again as a reliable, constitutional democracy, it will have to find the collective courage to break through decades of denial and address an array of ugly truths about itself and the role it plays on the world stage, according a scathing new book by seasoned American journalist William Boardman.              Ed Shiller, publisher of Toronto-based Yorkland Publishing, calls Boardman’s newly published EXCEPTIONAL – American Exceptionalism Takes Its Toll “a radical act that exposes the self-deception and evasion induced by American exceptionalism. The book addresses unpalatable American realities in an effort to contribute to radical change before we’ve pitched too far into the abyss.”  In the introduction to EXCEPTIONAL, an anthology of Boardman’s recent political essays, the author writes:   American Exceptionalism permeates our culture. Most Amer­icans were taught to believe in American superiority long before we were able to think for ourselves. “America is the greatest country in the world.” It’s an article of faith. It can’t be proved. Other countries didn’t vote us #1 in a free and fair election.                 He then asks:   What is the measure of “greatness” for a country? Do genocide, slavery, racism, imperialism and endemic poverty count? If the United States is really the greatest country in the world, what does that say about the world?    Each essay, Boardman says, is    [A] snapshot in time, when I’m reacting to the moment, whether it’s an act of voter suppression, the start of an aggressive war, the police killing of another unarmed black person, or the failed humanity of so many of our “lead­ers.” Whatever the moment, it’s something I object to. I try to describe the ways it’s wrong and bad for people and bad for the country.    In the 740 pages that follow, Boardman documents: 
  • The erosion of voting rights.
  • The criminalization of free speech. the rise of a police state, a Supreme Court that defends the interests of the rich and powerful with less and less integrity or shame, and other signs that the United States is “losing altitude.”
  • The ill-treatment of immigrants and asylum seekers.
  • Ongoing racism and physical attacks against Black Americans.
  • War crimes perpetrated by current and past administrations.
  • Policies dealing with climate change, nuclear weapons and nuclear power that put Americans and the rest of the world at cataclysmic risk.
  • Some of the hundreds of impeachable offenses President Donald Trump has committed from the moment he took office on January 20, 2017.  
Boardman criticizes the American leadership class, regardless of political orientation, for its generally smug tolerance for the idea that we now live in a post-truth world where alternative facts are as good as actual facts. And he castigates both Democrats and mainstream media for failing to confront a lawless presidency that is content to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity without explanation or remorse.                         The current American administration, Boardman argues, is the logical result of American exceptionalism corrupted by American power. He cites Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who in early 2019 described the Unites States with an inherently false, if not delusional comment: “One thing we’ve never been is an empire-builder or an oppressor.”              As Boardman notes, “That pretty much sums up the ideology of a self-defined, exceptional ideologue: America was, is, and will be a force for good – no matter who has to suffer for it.”  EXCEPTIONAL sells for $39.95 and is available online directly from Yorkland Publishing at and on Amazon. In Vermont, it is carried by Phoenix Book Store in Burlington and Yankee Bookshop in Woodstock.  -30-   Contact: Ed Shiller, 647-407-2953 or