Jill Lepore, Harvard historian and New Yorker staff writer, offers a careful and concerned look at American history according to the far right, from the "rant heard round the world," which launched the Tea Party, to the Texas School Board's adoption of a social-studies curriculum that teaches that the United States was established as a Christian nation. Along the way, she provides rare insight into the eighteenth-century struggle for independence--a history of the Revolution, from the archives. Lepore traces the roots of the far right's reactionary history to the bicentennial in the 1970s, when no one could agree on what story a divided nation should tell about its unruly beginnings. Behind the Tea Party's Revolution, she argues, lies a nostalgic and even heartbreaking yearning for an imagined past--a time less troubled by ambiguity, strife, and uncertainty--a yearning for an America that never was.
The Whites of Their Eyes reveals that the far right has embraced a narrative about America's founding that is not only a fable but is also, finally, a variety of fundamentalism--anti-intellectual, antihistorical, and dangerously antipluralist.
In a new afterword, Lepore addresses both the recent shift in Tea Party rhetoric from the Revolution to the Constitution and the diminished role of scholars as political commentators over the last half century of public debate.
At the darkest hour of the American Revolution, in 1780, when there was little reason to hope, the British went down South and overplayed their hand. By burning the bibles of backwoodsmen and threatening their honor, the British ignited a firestorm in the most spectacular, unusual, and decisive battle of the war. Ordinary folk from throughout the Southern colonies spontaneously banded together and rode for hundreds of miles to attack and destroy British forces at King’s Mountain.
The killing didn’t stop at King’s Mountain, but the war did. Never heard of the massacre that saved the American Revolution? No idea that liberty was actually won in the South? Red state values of God, guns and guts are being dismantled by leftists airbrushing our past in order to “transform” our future. Grand Theft History features shocking new evidence that exposes the latest battlefield in the culture wars–American history.
The authors trace the story of American democracy from the revolution to the present, showing how democracy has changed over time, and the challenges it has faced. They examine themes including individualism, foreign policy, the economy, and the environment, and reveal how democracy has been deeply involved in these throughout the country’s history.
Democracy as a Way of Life in Americademonstrates that democracy is not simply a set of institutions or practices such as the right to vote or competing political parties, but a complex, multi-dimensional phenomenon, whose animating spirit can be found in every part of American culture and society. This vital and engaging narrative should be read by students of history, political science, and anyone who wants to understand the nature of American democracy.
Providing a detailed analysis which closely examines Thoreau’s original work, this is an essential introduction for students of politics, philosophy and history, and all those seeking a full appreciation of this classic work.
Exploring the baffling contrast between postwar success and current failures, Marquand examines the rebirth of ethnic communities from Catalonia to Flanders, the rise of xenophobic populism, the democratic deficit that stymies EU governance, and the thorny questions of where Europe's borders end and what it means to be European. Marquand contends that as China, India, and other nations rise, Europe must abandon ancient notions of an enlightened West and a backward East. He calls for Europe's leaders and citizens to confront the painful issues of ethnicity, integration, and economic cohesion, and to build a democratic and federal structure.
A wake-up call to those who cling to ideas of a triumphalist Europe, The End of the West shows that the continent must draw on all its reserves of intellectual and political creativity to thrive in an increasingly turbulent world, where the very language of "East" and "West" has been emptied of meaning. In a new preface, Marquand analyzes the current Eurozone crisis--arguing that it was inevitable due to the absurdity of combining monetary union with fiscal disunion--and raises some of the questions Europe will have to face in its recovery.
They burst on the scene at the height of the Great Recession—angry voters gathering by the thousands to rail against bailouts and big government. Evoking the Founding Fathers, they called themselves the Tea Party. Within the year, they had changed the terms of debate in Washington, emboldening Republicans and confounding a new administration's ability to get things done.
Boiling Mad is Kate Zernike's eye-opening look inside the Tea Party, introducing us to a cast of unlikely activists and the philosophy that animates them. She shows how the Tea Party movement emerged from an unusual alliance of young Internet-savvy conservatives and older people alarmed at a country they no longer recognize. The movement is the latest manifestation of a long history of conservative discontent in America, breeding on a distrust of government that is older than the nation itself. But the Tea Partiers' grievances are rooted in the present, a response to the election of the nation's first black president and to the far-reaching government intervention that followed the economic crisis of 2008-2009. Though they are better educated and better off than most other Americans, they remain deeply pessimistic about the economy and the direction of the country.
Zernike introduces us to the first Tea Partier, a nose-pierced young teacher who lives in Seattle with her fiancé, an Obama supporter. We listen in on what Tea Partiers learn about the Constitution, which they embrace as the backbone of their political philosophy. We see how young conservatives, who model their organization on the Grateful Dead, mobilize a new set of activists several decades their elder. And we watch as suburban mothers, who draw their inspiration from MoveOn and other icons of the Left, plot to upend the Republican Party in a swing district outside Philadelphia.
The Tea Party movement has energized a lot of voters, but it has polarized the electorate, too. Agree or disagree, we must understand this movement to understand American politics in 2010 and beyond.
Moving between the United States and Europe, Norton provides a fresh perspective on iconic controversies, from the Danish cartoon of Muhammad to the murder of Theo van Gogh. She examines the arguments of a wide range of thinkers--from John Rawls to Slavoj Žižek. And she describes vivid everyday examples of ordinary Muslims and non-Muslims who have accepted each other and built a common life together. Ultimately, Norton provides a new vision of a richer and more diverse democratic life in the West, one that makes room for Muslims rather than scapegoating them for the West's own anxieties.
Part civics primer, part cultural history, The Story of America excavates the origins of everything from the paper ballot and the Constitution to the I.O.U. and the dictionary. Along the way it presents fresh readings of Benjamin Franklin's Way to Wealth, Thomas Paine's Common Sense, "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe, and "Paul Revere's Ride" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, as well as histories of lesser-known genres, including biographies of presidents, novels of immigrants, and accounts of the Depression.
From past to present, Lepore argues, Americans have wrestled with the idea of democracy by telling stories. In this thoughtful and provocative book, Lepore offers at once a history of origin stories and a meditation on storytelling itself.