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The Rhetoric of American Exceptionalism

The Rhetoric of American Exceptionalism Author Jason A. Edwards
ISBN-10 9780786486816
Release 2011-04-29
Pages 228
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The American experience has been defined, in part, by the rhetoric of exceptionalism. This book of 11 critical essays explores the notion as it is manifested across a range of contexts, including the presidency, foreign policy, religion, economics, American history, television news and sports. The idea of exceptionalism is explored through the words of its champions and its challengers, past and present. By studying how the principles of American exceptionalism have been used, adapted, challenged, and even rejected, this volume demonstrates the continued importance of exceptionalism to the mythology, sense of place, direction and identity of the United States, within and outside of the realm of politics. Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.



American Exceptionalism and Civil Religion

American Exceptionalism and Civil Religion Author John D. Wilsey
ISBN-10 9780830840946
Release 2015-12-22
Pages 263
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Ever since John Winthrop told his fellow colonists in 1630 that they were about to establish a City upon a Hill, the idea of having a special place in history has captured the American imagination. Through centuries of crises and opportunities, many have taken up this theme to inspire the nation. But others have criticized the notion because it implies a sense of superiority which can fuel racism, warmongering and even idolatry. In this remarkable book, John Wilsey traces the historical development of exceptionalism, including its theological meaning and implications for civil religion. From seventeenth-century Puritans to twentieth-century industrialists, from politicians to educators, exceptionalism does not appear as a monolithic concept to be either totally rejected or devotedly embraced. While it can lead to abuses, it can also point to constructive civil engagement and human flourishing. This book considers historically and theologically what makes the difference. Neither the term nor the idea of American exceptionalism is going away. John Wilsey's careful history and analysis will therefore prove an important touchstone for discussions of American identity in the decades to come.



Communicating Environmental Patriotism

Communicating Environmental Patriotism Author Anne Marie Todd
ISBN-10 9781134075393
Release 2013-06-07
Pages 174
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Environmental patriotism, the belief that the national environment defines a country’s greatness, is a significant strand in twentieth century American environmentalism. This book is the first to explore the history of environmental patriotism in America through the intriguing stories of environmental patriots and the rhetoric of their speeches and propaganda, The See America First movement began in 1906 with the aim of protecting and promoting the landscapes of the American West. In 1908, Gifford Pinchot and President Theodore Roosevelt hosted the White House Conservation Conference to promote the wise use of natural resources for generations of Americans. In 1912, Pittsburgh’s smoke investigation condemned the effects of coal smoke on the city’s environment. In World War II, a massive propaganda effort mobilized millions of Americans to plant victory gardens to save resources for the war abroad. While these may not seem like crucial moments for the American environmental movement, this new history of American environmentalism shows that they are linked by patriotism. The book offers a provoking critique of environmentalists’ communication strategies and suggests patriotism as a persuasive hook for new ways to make environmental issues a national priority. This original research should be of interest to scholars of environmental communication, environmental history, American history and environmental philosophy.



Politics Identity and Mobility in Travel Writing

Politics  Identity  and Mobility in Travel Writing Author Miguel A. Cabañas
ISBN-10 9781317585077
Release 2015-06-26
Pages 268
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This collection examines the intersections between the personal and the political in travel writing, and the dialectic between mobility and stasis, through an analysis of specific cases across geographical and historical boundaries. The authors explore the various ways in which travel texts represent actual political conditions and thus engage in discussions about national, transnational, and global citizenship; how they propose real-world political interventions in the places where the traveler goes; what tone they take toward political or socio-political violence; and how they intersect with political debates. Travel writing can be viewed as political in a purely instrumental sense, but, as this volume also demonstrates, travel writing’s reception and ideological interventions also transform personal and cultural realities. This book thus examines the ways in which politics’ material effects inform and intersect with personal experience in travel texts and engage with travel’s dialectic of mobility and stasis. In spite of globalization and efforts to eradicate the colonial vision in travel writing and in travel writing criticism, this vision persists in various and complex ways. While the travelogue can be a space of discursive and direct oppression, these essays suggest that the travelogue is also a narrative space in which the traveler employs the genre to assert authority over his or her experiences of mobility. This book will be an important contribution for interdisciplinary scholars with interests in travel writing studies, global and transnational studies, women’s studies, multicultural studies, the social sciences, and history.



American Exceptionalisms

American Exceptionalisms Author Sylvia Söderlind
ISBN-10 9781438435763
Release 2011-12-16
Pages 278
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Wide ranging, interdisciplinary look at the emergence and persistence of the concept of American Exceptionalism in US culture and history.



Manly Traditions

Manly Traditions Author Simon J. Bronner
ISBN-10 0253217814
Release 2005
Pages 383
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Take this test. You think today's sensitive, caring man is: (a) a myth, (b) an oxymoron, or (c) a moron. No matter whether you laugh at this bit of folk humor, its wide circulation bespeaks a modern predicament for American men. Men's "manly" traditions have been shaken in an age of "sensitivity." Some observers have even referred to a crisis of masculinity for a new generation of boys. In Manly Traditions, established scholars in the fields of folklore, men's studies, and gender studies identify the folkloric roots of what it means to be a man in America. In a lively volume they examine the traditions men inherit and adapt for their own purposes in contemporary life.



American Exceptionalism

American Exceptionalism Author Charles A. Murray
ISBN-10 084477264X
Release 2013
Pages 59
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The phrase American exceptionalism is used in many ways and for many purposes, but its original meaning involved a statement of fact: for the first century after the Constitution went into effect, European observers and Americans alike saw the United States as exceptional, with political and civic cultures that had no counterparts anywhere else. In American Exceptionalism: An Experiment in History, Charles Murray describes how America s geography, ideology, politics, and daily life set the new nation apart from Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries. He then discusses the ways that exceptionalism changed during America s evolution over the course of the 20th century. Which changes are gains to be applauded? Which are losses to be mourned? Answering these questions is the essential first step in discovering what you want for America s future.



Globalizing American Studies

Globalizing American Studies Author Brian T. Edwards
ISBN-10 9780226185071
Release 2010-12-15
Pages 341
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The discipline of American studies was established in the early days of World War II and drew on the myth of American exceptionalism. Now that the so-called American Century has come to an end, what would a truly globalized version of American studies look like? Brian T. Edwards and Dilip Parameshwar Gaonkar offer a new standard for the field’s transnational aspiration with Globalizing American Studies. The essays here offer a comparative, multilingual, or multisited approach to ideas and representations of America. The contributors explore unexpected perspectives on the international circulation of American culture: the traffic of American movies within the British Empire, the reception of the film Gone with the Wind in the Arab world, the parallels between Japanese and American styles of nativism, and new incarnations of American studies itself in the Middle East and South Asia. The essays elicit a forgotten multilateralism long inherent in American history and provide vivid accounts of post–Revolutionary science communities, late-nineteenth century Mexican border crossings, African American internationalism, Cold War womanhood in the United States and Soviet Russia, and the neo-Orientalism of the new obsession with Iran, among others. Bringing together established scholars already associated with the global turn in American studies with contributors who specialize in African studies, East Asian studies, Latin American studies, media studies, anthropology, and other areas, Globalizing American Studies is an original response to an important disciplinary shift in academia.



American Puritan Imagination

American Puritan Imagination Author Sacvan Bercovitch
ISBN-10 0521098416
Release 1974-06-28
Pages 265
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The major themes, leading exponents, style, and genres of early American literature are investigated



The Limits of Power

The Limits of Power Author Andrew J. Bacevich
ISBN-10 1429929685
Release 2008-08-05
Pages 224
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From an acclaimed conservative historian and former military officer, a bracing call for a pragmatic confrontation with the nation's problems The Limits of Power identifies a profound triple crisis facing America: the economy, in remarkable disarray, can no longer be fixed by relying on expansion abroad; the government, transformed by an imperial presidency, is a democracy in form only; U.S. involvement in endless wars, driven by a deep infatuation with military power, has been a catastrophe for the body politic. These pressing problems threaten all of us, Republicans and Democrats. If the nation is to solve its predicament, it will need the revival of a distinctly American approach: the neglected tradition of realism. Andrew J. Bacevich, uniquely respected across the political spectrum, offers a historical perspective on the illusions that have governed American policy since 1945. The realism he proposes includes respect for power and its limits; sensitivity to unintended consequences; aversion to claims of exceptionalism; skepticism of easy solutions, especially those involving force; and a conviction that the books will have to balance. Only a return to such principles, Bacevich argues, can provide common ground for fixing America's urgent problems before the damage becomes irreparable.



American Exceptionalism and Human Rights

American Exceptionalism and Human Rights Author Michael Ignatieff
ISBN-10 1400826888
Release 2009-01-10
Pages 368
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With the 2003 invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq, the most controversial question in world politics fast became whether the United States stands within the order of international law or outside it. Does America still play by the rules it helped create? American Exceptionalism and Human Rights addresses this question as it applies to U.S. behavior in relation to international human rights. With essays by eleven leading experts in such fields as international relations and international law, it seeks to show and explain how America's approach to human rights differs from that of most other Western nations. In his introduction, Michael Ignatieff identifies three main types of exceptionalism: exemptionalism (supporting treaties as long as Americans are exempt from them); double standards (criticizing "others for not heeding the findings of international human rights bodies, but ignoring what these bodies say of the United States); and legal isolationism (the tendency of American judges to ignore other jurisdictions). The contributors use Ignatieff's essay as a jumping-off point to discuss specific types of exceptionalism--America's approach to capital punishment and to free speech, for example--or to explore the social, cultural, and institutional roots of exceptionalism. These essays--most of which appear in print here for the first time, and all of which have been revised or updated since being presented in a year-long lecture series on American exceptionalism at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government--are by Stanley Hoffmann, Paul Kahn, Harold Koh, Frank Michelman, Andrew Moravcsik, John Ruggie, Frederick Schauer, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Carol Steiker, and Cass Sunstein.



The Irony of American History

The Irony of American History Author Reinhold Niebuhr
ISBN-10 9780226583990
Release 2010-01-22
Pages 198
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“[Niebuhr] is one of my favorite philosophers. I take away [from his works] the compelling idea that there’s serious evil in the world, and hardship and pain. And we should be humble and modest in our belief we can eliminate those things. But we shouldn’t use that as an excuse for cynicism and inaction. I take away . . . the sense we have to make these efforts knowing they are hard.”—President Barack Obama Forged during the tumultuous but triumphant postwar years when America came of age as a world power, The Irony of American History is more relevant now than ever before. Cited by politicians as diverse as Hillary Clinton and John McCain, Niebuhr’s masterpiece on the incongruity between personal ideals and political reality is both an indictment of American moral complacency and a warning against the arrogance of virtue. Impassioned, eloquent, and deeply perceptive, Niebuhr’s wisdom will cause readers to rethink their assumptions about right and wrong, war and peace. “The supreme American theologian of the twentieth century.”—Arthur Schlesinger Jr., New York Times “Niebuhr is important for the left today precisely because he warned about America’s tendency—including the left’s tendency—to do bad things in the name of idealism. His thought offers a much better understanding of where the Bush administration went wrong in Iraq.”—Kevin Mattson, The Good Society “Irony provides the master key to understanding the myths and delusions that underpin American statecraft. . . . The most important book ever written on US foreign policy.”—Andrew J. Bacevich, from the Introduction



The Short American Century

The Short American Century Author Andrew J. Bacevich
ISBN-10 9780674064744
Release 2012-04-02
Pages 296
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In February 1941, Henry Luce announced the arrival of “The American Century.” But that century—extending from World War II to the recent economic collapse—has now ended, victim of strategic miscalculation, military misadventures, and economic decline. Here some of America’s most distinguished historians place the century in historical perspective.



Continental Divide

Continental Divide Author Seymour Martin Lipset
ISBN-10 9781136639814
Release 2013-10-11
Pages 352
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Seymour Martin Lipset's highly acclaimed work explores the distinctive character of American and Canadian values and institutions. Lipset draws material from a number of sources: historical accounts, critical interpretations of art, aggregate statistics and survey data, as well as studies of law, religion and government. Drawing a vivid portrait of the two countries, Continental Divide represents some of the best comparative social and political research available.



American Exceptionalism Reconsidered

American Exceptionalism Reconsidered Author David P. Forsythe
ISBN-10 9781317352372
Release 2016-11-25
Pages 160
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Is the US really exceptional in terms of its willingness to take universal human rights seriously? According to the rhetoric of American political leaders, the United States has a unique and lasting commitment to human rights principles and to a liberal world order centered on rule of law and human dignity. But when push comes to shove—most recently in Libya and Syria--the United States failed to stop atrocities and dithered as disorder spread in both places. This book takes on the myths surrounding US foreign policy and the future of world order. Weighing impulses toward parochial nationalism against the ideal of cosmopolitan internationalism, the authors posit that what may be emerging is a new brand of American globalism, or a foreign policy that gives primacy to national self-interest but does so with considerable interest in and genuine attention to universal human rights and a willingness to suffer and pay for those outside its borders—at least on occasion. The occasions of exception—such as Libya and Syria—provide case studies for critical analysis and allow the authors to look to emerging dominant powers, especially China, for indicators of new challenges to the commitment to universal human rights and humanitarian affairs in the context of the ongoing clash between liberalism and realism. The book is guided by four central questions: 1) What is the relationship between cosmopolitan international standards and narrow national self-interest in US policy on human rights and humanitarian affairs? 2) What is the role of American public opinion and does it play any significant role in shaping US policy in this dialectical clash? 3) Beyond public opinion, what other factors account for the shifting interplay of liberal and realist inclinations in Washington policy making? 4) In the 21st century and as global power shifts, what are the current views and policies of other countries when it comes to the application of human rights and humanitarian affairs?



American exceptionalism and the Shoah

American exceptionalism and the Shoah Author David L. Worthington
ISBN-10 IND:30000095228155
Release 2007
Pages 472
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This dissertation analyzes the rhetoric of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum as a site that constructs, articulates, and advances an ideology of American exceptionalism. The critical thrust of the project is to demonstrate how the museum produces a narrow set of terministic screens for understanding American connections to the European holocaust that make it difficult to productively engage problematic instances of U.S. history such as slavery and the genocide of the native Americans. To this end, the study focuses on public debates surrounding the founding and placement of the museum, the narrative of the museum's Permanent Exhibit, the physical exhibits that shape American exceptionalism, and the ways in which visitors respond to the museum story in comment books. The argument unfolds in 5 stages. The first stage examines the ways in which public debate during the museum's planning stages took up the issue of the propriety of a "Holocaust" museum in the U.S. and then addressed where the museum would be located and what kind of narrative would be consistent with placing the museum in close proximity to the National Mall. Stage two explores the museum's insistence on a strictly defined and overly simplistic narrative that marks the participants in the Shoah as victims, perpetrators, or liberators. Stage three focuses on the narrative of the museum's Permanent Exhibit, where the museum interpellates visitors as "witnesses" without providing a clear sense of what the act of witnessing entails. In the fourth stage "citizenship" is made passive by exhibits that evoke a sense of tragedy and atrocity that exists "over there" (in Europe) and whose victims are "other" and outside the bounds and protection of American style liberal democracy. Stage four shifts focus from the narrative as articulated by museum curators and towards the way visitors respond to the museum in comment books, and in particular on the most common response by museum visitors that they feel "sad." "Sadness," I argue, is a problematic public emotion that represses civic action. The project concludes in stage five by discussing ways in which exhibits might be added that would widen our terministic understanding of the past so as to allow for a more productive consideration of the ways in which and the topos of "atrocity" implicates the politics of genocide.



Redeemer Nation in the Interregnum

Redeemer Nation in the Interregnum Author William V. Spanos
ISBN-10 9780823268160
Release 2016
Pages 184
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Redeemer Nation in the Interregnum interrogates the polyvalent role that American exceptionalism continues to play after 9/11. Whereas American exceptionalism is often construed as a discredited Cold War-era belief structure, Spanos persuasively demonstrates how it operationalizes an apparatus of biopolitical capture that saturates the American body politic down to its capillaries. The exceptionalism that Redeemer Nation in the Interregnum renders starkly visible is not a corrigible ideological screen. It is a deeply structured ethos that functions simultaneously on ontological, moral, economic, racial, gendered, and political registers as the American Calling. Precisely by refusing to answer the American Calling, by rendering inoperative (in Agamben's sense) its covenantal summons, Spanos enables us to imagine an alternative America. At once timely and personal, Spanos's meditation acknowledges the priority of being. He emphasizes the dignity not simply of humanity but of all phenomena on the continuum of being, "the groundless ground of any political formation that would claim the name of democracy."