Search Results for "the-idea-of-america"

The Idea of America

The Idea of America

Reflections on the Birth of the United States

  • Author: Gordon S. Wood
  • Publisher: Penguin
  • ISBN: 9781101515143
  • Category: History
  • Page: 400
  • View: 3532
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The preeminent historian of the American Revolution explains why it remains the most significant event in our history. More than almost any other nation in the world, the United States began as an idea. For this reason, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Gordon S. Wood believes that the American Revolution is the most important event in our history, bar none. Since American identity is so fluid and not based on any universally shared heritage, we have had to continually return to our nation's founding to understand who we are. In The Idea of America, Wood reflects on the birth of American nationhood and explains why the revolution remains so essential. In a series of elegant and illuminating essays, Wood explores the ideological origins of the revolution-from ancient Rome to the European Enlightenment-and the founders' attempts to forge an American democracy. As Wood reveals, while the founders hoped to create a virtuous republic of yeoman farmers and uninterested leaders, they instead gave birth to a sprawling, licentious, and materialistic popular democracy. Wood also traces the origins of American exceptionalism to this period, revealing how the revolutionary generation, despite living in a distant, sparsely populated country, believed itself to be the most enlightened people on earth. The revolution gave Americans their messianic sense of purpose-and perhaps our continued propensity to promote democracy around the world-because the founders believed their colonial rebellion had universal significance for oppressed peoples everywhere. Yet what may seem like audacity in retrospect reflected the fact that in the eighteenth century republicanism was a truly radical ideology-as radical as Marxism would be in the nineteenth-and one that indeed inspired revolutionaries the world over. Today there exists what Wood calls a terrifying gap between us and the founders, such that it requires almost an act of imagination to fully recapture their era. Because we now take our democracy for granted, it is nearly impossible for us to appreciate how deeply the founders feared their grand experiment in liberty could evolve into monarchy or dissolve into licentiousness. Gracefully written and filled with insight, The Idea of America helps us to recapture the fears and hopes of the revolutionary generation and its attempts to translate those ideals into a working democracy. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s smash Broadway musical Hamilton has sparked new interest in the Revolutionary War and the Founding Fathers. In addition to Alexander Hamilton, the production also features George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Aaron Burr, Lafayette, and many more. Look for Gordon's new book, Friends Divided.

The Idea of America

The Idea of America

How Values Shaped Our Republic and Hold the Key to Our Future

  • Author: H. Michael Hartoonian,Richard D. Van Scotter,William Edward White
  • Publisher: Colonial Williamsburg
  • ISBN: 0879352604
  • Category: History
  • Page: 173
  • View: 1645
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Debate keeps America vibrant. Debate over what course America should take. Debate over our shared, democratic values. Debate over the extent that our shared values influence public policy—and in which direction. Far from being a sign that our democratic republic is failing, this raucous, controversial, enduring debate—this Great Debate—indicates our republic is healthy. Americans continually seek, in the words of the Preamble to the Constitution, “to form a more perfect union.” Not everyone agrees on how best to do that—and that’s where civic and civil debate comes in. Americans have debated what course the nation should take since before there was a nation.

The Idea of Fraternity in America

The Idea of Fraternity in America

  • Author: Wilson C. McWilliams
  • Publisher: Univ of California Press
  • ISBN: 9780520027725
  • Category: Brotherhoods
  • Page: 695
  • View: 1820
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Redeemer Nation

Redeemer Nation

The Idea of America's Millennial Role

  • Author: Ernest Lee Tuveson
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • ISBN: 9780226819211
  • Category: History
  • Page: 238
  • View: 3159
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Ernest Tuveson here shows that the idea of the redemptive mission which has motivated so much of the United States foreign policy is as old as the Republic itself. He traces the development of this element of the American heritage from its beginning as a literal interpretation of biblical prophecies. Pointing to the application of the millenarian ideal to successive stages of American history, notably apocalyptic events like the Civil War, Tuveson illustrates its pervasive cultural influences with examples from the writings of Jonathan Edwards, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Timothy Dwight, and Julia Ward Howe, among others.

Imagining a Great Republic

Imagining a Great Republic

Political Novels and the Idea of America

  • Author: Thomas E. Cronin
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
  • ISBN: 1538105721
  • Category: Political Science
  • Page: 468
  • View: 7521
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In the first comprehensive reading of dozens of American literary and social culture classics, Tom Cronin, one of America’s most astute students of the American political tradition, tells the story of the American political experiment through the eyes of forty major novelists, from Harriet Beecher Stowe to Hunter S. Thompson. They have been moral and civic consciousness-raisers as we have navigated the zigs and zags, the successes and setbacks, and the slow awkward evolution of the American political experiment. Constitutional democracy, equal justice for all, the American Dream, and American Exceptionalism are all part of our country’s narrative. But, as Imagining a Great Republic explains, there has never been just a single American narrative—we have competing stories, just as we have competing American Dreams and competing ways of imagining a more perfect political union. Recognizing and understanding these competing values is a key part of being American. Cronin’s book explains how this is possible and why we should all be proud to be American.

The Radicalism of the American Revolution

The Radicalism of the American Revolution

  • Author: Gordon S. Wood
  • Publisher: Vintage
  • ISBN: 0307758966
  • Category: History
  • Page: 464
  • View: 5417
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In a grand and immemsely readable synthesis of historical, political, cultural, and economic analysis, a prize-winning historian describes the events that made the American Revolution. Gordon S. Wood depicts a revolution that was about much more than a break from England, rather it transformed an almost feudal society into a democratic one, whose emerging realities sometimes baffled and disappointed its founding fathers.

The Idea That Is America

The Idea That Is America

Keeping Faith With Our Values in a Dangerous World

  • Author: Anne-Marie Slaughter
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • ISBN: 0465008607
  • Category: History
  • Page: 272
  • View: 9492
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What values does America truly stand for? In The Idea That Is America, a preeminent foreign policy scholar elegantly reminds us of the essential principles on which our nation was established: liberty, democracy, equality, tolerance, faith, justice, and humility. Our ongoing struggle to live up to America’s great promise matters not only to us, but also to the billions of people everywhere who look to the United States to lead, protect, and inspire the world. In The Idea That Is America, Anne-Marie Slaughter shows us the way forward.

Race

Race

The History of an Idea in America

  • Author: Thomas F. Gossett
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • ISBN: 9780198025825
  • Category: Literary Criticism
  • Page: 544
  • View: 3993
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When Thomas Gossett's Race: The History of an Idea in America appeared in 1963, it explored the impact of race theory on American letters in a way that anticipated the investigation of race and culture being conducted today. Bold, rigorous, and broad in scope, Gossett's book quickly established itself as a critical resource to younger scholars seeking a candid, theoretically sophisticated treatment of race in American cultural history. Here, reprinted without change, is Gossett's classic study, making available to a new generation of scholars a lucid, accessibly written volume that ranges from colonial race theory and its European antecedents, through eighteenth- and nineteenth- century race pseudoscience, to the racialist dimension of American thought and literature emerging against backgrounds such as Anglo- Saxonism, westward expansion, Social Darwinism, xenophobia, World War I, and modern racial theory. Featuring a new afterword by the author, an introduction by series editors Shelley Fisher Fishkin and Arnold Rampersad, and a bibliographic essay by Maghan Keita, this indispensable book, whose first edition helped change the way scholars discussed race, will richly reward scholars of American Studies, American Literature, and African-American Studies.

The Idea of Latin America

The Idea of Latin America

  • Author: Walter D. Mignolo
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
  • ISBN: 1405150173
  • Category: History
  • Page: 224
  • View: 8934
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The Idea of Latin America is a geo-political manifesto which insists on the need to leave behind an idea which belonged to the nation-building mentality of nineteenth-century Europe. Charts the history of the concept of Latin America from its emergence in Europe in the second half of the nineteenth century through various permutations to the present day. Asks what is at stake in the survival of an idea which subdivides the Americas. Reinstates the indigenous peoples and migrations excluded by the image of a homogenous Latin America with defined borders. Insists on the pressing need to leave behind an idea which belonged to the nation-building mentality of nineteenth-century Europe.

The Founders and the Idea of a National University

The Founders and the Idea of a National University

  • Author: George Thomas
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • ISBN: 1107083435
  • Category: History
  • Page: 264
  • View: 1385
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"Constituting the American Mind is about early efforts to establish a national university and what those efforts say about the nature and logic of American Constitutionalism. This book offers the first in depth study of the efforts to establish a national university from a constitutional perspective. While mostly noted in passing, the national university was put forward by every president from Washington to John Quincy Adams as a necessary supplement to the formal institutions of government; it would help constitute the American mind in a manner that carried forward the ideas the constitution rested on including, for example, the separation of the "civic" from the "theological.""--

Stanley Cavell, Literature, and Film

Stanley Cavell, Literature, and Film

The Idea of America

  • Author: Andrew Taylor,Áine Kelly
  • Publisher: Routledge
  • ISBN: 113615633X
  • Category: Literary Criticism
  • Page: 256
  • View: 9858
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This is the first book to offer a thorough examination of the relationship that Stanley Cavell’s celebrated philosophical work has to the ways in which the United States has been imagined and articulated in its literature. Establishing the contours of Cavell’s most significant readings of American philosophical and cultural activity, the volume explores how his philosophy and the kind of reading it demands have an important relation to broader considerations of the American national imaginary. Focused, coherent, and original essays from a wide range of philosophers and critics consider how his investigations of Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson, for example, represent a sustained engagement with the ways in which philosophy might provide us with new ways of thinking and of living. This is the first detailed and comprehensive treatment of "America" as a category of enquiry in Cavell’s writing, engaging with the terms of Cavell’s various configurations of the nation and offering readings of American texts that illustrate the possibilities that Cavell’s work has, in turn, for literary and film criticism. This study of the role played by philosophy in the articulation of the American self-imaginary highlights the ways in which the reading of literature, and the practice of philosophy, are conjoined in the ethical and political project of national self-definition.

The Strength of a People

The Strength of a People

The Idea of an Informed Citizenry in America, 1650-1870

  • Author: Richard D. Brown
  • Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
  • ISBN: 9780807846636
  • Category: History
  • Page: 252
  • View: 854
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Thomas Jefferson's conviction that the health of the nation's democracy would depend on the existence of an informed citizenry has been a cornerstone of our political culture since the inception of the American republic. Even today's debates over educatio

American Nietzsche

American Nietzsche

A History of an Icon and His Ideas

  • Author: Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • ISBN: 0226705846
  • Category: History
  • Page: 464
  • View: 9584
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If you were looking for a philosopher likely to appeal to Americans, Friedrich Nietzsche would be far from your first choice. After all, in his blazing career, Nietzsche took aim at nearly all the foundations of modern American life: Christian morality, the Enlightenment faith in reason, and the idea of human equality. Despite that, for more than a century Nietzsche has been a hugely popular—and surprisingly influential—figure in American thought and culture. In American Nietzsche, Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen delves deeply into Nietzsche's philosophy, and America’s reception of it, to tell the story of his curious appeal. Beginning her account with Ralph Waldo Emerson, whom the seventeen-year-old Nietzsche read fervently, she shows how Nietzsche’s ideas first burst on American shores at the turn of the twentieth century, and how they continued alternately to invigorate and to shock Americans for the century to come. She also delineates the broader intellectual and cultural contexts within which a wide array of commentators—academic and armchair philosophers, theologians and atheists, romantic poets and hard-nosed empiricists, and political ideologues and apostates from the Left and the Right—drew insight and inspiration from Nietzsche’s claims for the death of God, his challenge to universal truth, and his insistence on the interpretive nature of all human thought and beliefs. At the same time, she explores how his image as an iconoclastic immoralist was put to work in American popular culture, making Nietzsche an unlikely posthumous celebrity capable of inspiring both teenagers and scholars alike. A penetrating examination of a powerful but little-explored undercurrent of twentieth-century American thought and culture, American Nietzsche dramatically recasts our understanding of American intellectual life—and puts Nietzsche squarely at its heart.

The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin

The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin

  • Author: Gordon S. Wood
  • Publisher: Penguin
  • ISBN: 1101200901
  • Category: Biography & Autobiography
  • Page: 320
  • View: 7845
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From the most respected chronicler of the early days of the Republic—and winner of both the Pulitzer and Bancroft prizes—comes a landmark work that rescues Benjamin Franklin from a mythology that has blinded generations of Americans to the man he really was and makes sense of aspects of his life and career that would have otherwise remained mysterious. In place of the genial polymath, self-improver, and quintessential American, Gordon S. Wood reveals a figure much more ambiguous and complex—and much more interesting. Charting the passage of Franklin’s life and reputation from relative popular indifference (his death, while the occasion for mass mourning in France, was widely ignored in America) to posthumous glory, The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin sheds invaluable light on the emergence of our country’s idea of itself.

The Politics of Inequality

The Politics of Inequality

A Political History of the Idea of Economic Inequality in America

  • Author: Michael J. Thompson
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • ISBN: 0231140754
  • Category: Business & Economics
  • Page: 251
  • View: 8004
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Since the early days of the American republic, political thinkers have maintained that a grossly unequal division of property, wealth, and power would lead to the erosion of democratic life. Yet over the past thirty-five years, neoconservatives and neoliberals alike have redrawn the tenets of American liberalism. Nowhere is this more evident than in our current mainstream political discourse, in which the politics of economic inequality are rarely discussed. In this impassioned book, Michael J. Thompson reaches back into America's rich intellectual history to reclaim the politics of inequality from the distortion of recent American conservatism. He begins by tracing the development of the idea of economic inequality as it has been conceived by political thinkers throughout American history. Then he considers the change in ideas and values that have led to the acceptance and occasional legitimization of economic divisions. Thompson argues that American liberalism has made a profound departure from its original practice of egalitarian critique. It has all but abandoned its antihierarchical and antiaristocratic discourse. Only by resuscitating this tradition can democracy again become meaningful to Americans. The intellectuals who pioneered egalitarian thinking in America believed political and social relations should be free from all forms of domination, servitude, and dependency. They wished to expose the antidemocratic character of economic life under capitalism and hoped to prevent the kind of inequalities that compromise human dignity and freedom-the core principles of early American politics. In their wisdom is a much broader, more compelling view of democratic life and community than we have today, and with this book, Thompson eloquently and adamantly fights to recover this crucial strand of political thought.

A culture of confidence

A culture of confidence

politics, performance and the idea of America

  • Author: Richard Nelson
  • Publisher: N.A
  • ISBN: 9780878058686
  • Category: Political Science
  • Page: 285
  • View: 6755
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A study of contemporary America's demand for the cultural confidence game of performance politics.

Revolutionaries

Revolutionaries

A New History of the Invention of America

  • Author: Jack Rakove
  • Publisher: HMH
  • ISBN: 054748674X
  • Category: History
  • Page: 496
  • View: 7101
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“[A] wide-ranging and nuanced group portrait of the Founding Fathers” by a Pulitzer Prize winner (The New Yorker). In the early 1770s, the men who invented America were living quiet, provincial lives in the rustic backwaters of the New World, devoted to family and the private pursuit of wealth and happiness. None set out to become “revolutionary.” But when events in Boston escalated, they found themselves thrust into a crisis that moved quickly from protest to war. In Revolutionaries, a Pulitzer Prize–winning historian shows how the private lives of these men were suddenly transformed into public careers—how Washington became a strategist, Franklin a pioneering cultural diplomat, Madison a sophisticated constitutional thinker, and Hamilton a brilliant policymaker. From the Boston Tea Party to the First Continental Congress, from Trenton to Valley Forge, from the ratification of the Constitution to the disputes that led to our two-party system, Rakove explores the competing views of politics, war, diplomacy, and society that shaped our nation. We see the founders before they were fully formed leaders, as ordinary men who became extraordinary, altered by history. “[An] eminently readable account of the men who led the Revolution, wrote the Constitution and persuaded the citizens of the thirteen original states to adopt it.” —San Francisco Chronicle “Superb . . . a distinctive, fresh retelling of this epochal tale . . . Men like John Dickinson, George Mason, and Henry and John Laurens, rarely leading characters in similar works, put in strong appearances here. But the focus is on the big five: Washington, Franklin, John Adams, Jefferson, and Hamilton. Everyone interested in the founding of the U.S. will want to read this book.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

The Myth of American Individualism

The Myth of American Individualism

The Protestant Origins of American Political Thought

  • Author: Barry Alan Shain
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • ISBN: 9780691029122
  • Category: History
  • Page: 394
  • View: 989
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Sharpening the debate over the values that formed America's founding political philosophy, Barry Alan Shain challenges us to reconsider what early Americans meant when they used such basic political concepts as the public good, liberty, and slavery. We have too readily assumed, he argues, that eighteenth-century Americans understood these and other terms in an individualistic manner. However, by exploring how these core elements of their political thought were employed in Revolutionary-era sermons, public documents, newspaper editorials, and political pamphlets, Shain reveals a very different understanding--one based on a reformed Protestant communalism. In this context, individual liberty was the freedom to order one's life in accord with the demanding ethical standards found in Scripture and confirmed by reason. This was in keeping with Americans' widespread acceptance of original sin and the related assumption that a well-lived life was only possible in a tightly knit, intrusive community made up of families, congregations, and local government bodies. Shain concludes that Revolutionary-era Americans defended a Protestant communal vision of human flourishing that stands in stark opposition to contemporary liberal individualism. This overlooked component of the American political inheritance, he further suggests, demands examination because it alters the historical ground upon which contemporary political alternatives often seek legitimation, and it facilitates our understanding of much of American history and of the foundational language still used in authoritative political documents.

American Anabasis

American Anabasis

Xenophon and the Idea of America from the Mexican War to Iraq

  • Author: Tim Rood
  • Publisher: Overlook Press
  • ISBN: 9781590204764
  • Category: History
  • Page: 292
  • View: 4125
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Investigates the influence of the famous Greek classic on American military and political culture, in a reverse chronological history that examines key campaigns in the Iraq War, the conquest of the American West and the Civil War. By the author of The Sea! The Sea!

The Idea of America

The Idea of America

a reassessment of the American experiment

  • Author: Center for the Study of Human Values at Tanglewood
  • Publisher: N.A
  • ISBN: N.A
  • Category: History
  • Page: 230
  • View: 4050
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