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Americanism

New Perspectives on the History of an Ideal

Edited by Michael Kazin and Joseph A. McCartin

Publication Year: 2006

What is Americanism? The contributors to this volume recognize Americanism in all its complexity--as an ideology, an articulation of the nation's rightful place in the world, a set of traditions, a political language, and a cultural style imbued with political meaning. In response to the pervasive vision of Americanism as a battle cry or a smug assumption, this collection of essays stirs up new questions and debates that challenge us to rethink the model currently being exported, too often by force, to the rest of the world. Crafted by a cast of both rising and renowned intellectuals from three continents, the twelve essays in this volume are divided into two sections. The first group of essays addresses the understanding of Americanism within the United States over the past two centuries, from the early republic to the war in Iraq. The second section provides perspectives from around the world in an effort to make sense of how the national creed and its critics have shaped diplomacy, war, and global culture in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Approaching a controversial ideology as both scholars and citizens, many of the essayists call for a revival of the ideals of Americanism in a new progressive politics that can bring together an increasingly polarized and fragmented citizenry. Contributors: Mia Bay, Rutgers University Jun Furuya, Hokkaido University, Japan Gary Gerstle, University of Maryland Jonathan M. Hansen, Harvard University Michael Kazin, Georgetown University Rob Kroes, University of Amsterdam Melani McAlister, The George Washington University Joseph A. McCartin, Georgetown University Alan McPherson, Howard University Louis Menand, Harvard University Mae M. Ngai, University of Chicago Robert Shalhope, University of Oklahoma Stephen J. Whitfield, Brandeis University Alan Wolfe, Boston College These 12 commissioned essays (plus intro & conclusion by the eds.) explore the concept of Americanism--as an ideology, as an articulation of America's place in the world, as a set of traditions, as a political language, and as a cultural style rich with political meaning. The book is divided into two sections: the first includes essays about debates and narratives within the U.S., and the second section addresses views of the Americanist mission by the rest of the world. Essayists include senior scholars such as Louis Menand and Alan Wolfe, as well as respected younger scholars such as Mia Bay and Mae Ngai. cloth pub 4/3/06; sales = 1083 sold; 1281 in stock The contributors to this volume recognize Americanism as an ideology, an articulation of the nation's rightful place in the world, a set of traditions, a political language, and a cultural style imbued with political meaning. In response to the pervasive vision of Americanism as a battle cry or a smug assumption, this collection of 12 essays stirs up new questions and debates that challenge us to rethink the model currently being exported to the rest of the world. The first group of essays addresses the understanding of Americanism within the US over the past two centuries, from the early republic to the war in Iraq. The second section provides perspectives from around the world in an effort to make sense of how the national creed and its critics have shaped diplomacy, war, and global culture in the 20th and 21st centuries. Contributors include Mia Bay, Melani McAlister, Alan McPherson, Louis Menand, and Alan Wolfe, among others. What is Americanism? The contributors to this volume recognize Americanism in all its complexity--as an ideology, an articulation of the nation's rightful place in the world, a set of traditions, a political language, and a cultural style imbued with political meaning. In response to the pervasive vision of Americanism as a battle cry or a smug assumption, this collection of essays stirs up new questions and debates that challenge us to rethink the model currently being exported, too often by force, to the rest of the world. Crafted by a cast of both rising and renowned intellectuals from three continents, the twelve essays in this volume are divided into two sections. The first group of essays addresses the understanding of Americanism within the United States over the past two centuries, from the early republic to the war in Iraq. The second section provides perspectives from around the world in an effort to make sense of how the national creed and its critics have shaped diplomacy, war, and global culture in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Approaching a controversial ideology as both scholars and citizens, many of the essayists call for a revival of the ideals of Americanism in a new progressive politics that can bring together an increasingly polarized and fragmented citizenry. Contributors: Mia Bay, Rutgers University Jun Furuya, Hokkaido University, Japan Gary Gerstle, University of Maryland Jonathan M. Hansen, Harvard University Michael Kazin, Georgetown University Rob Kroes, University of Amsterdam Melani McAlister, The George Washington University Joseph A. McCartin, Georgetown University Alan McPherson, Howard University Louis Menand, Harvard University Mae M. Ngai, University of Chicago Robert Shalhope, University of Oklahoma Stephen J. Whitfield, Brandeis University Alan Wolfe, Boston College

Published by: The University of North Carolina Press

Cover

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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Introduction

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pp. 1-22

The topic of this book is vast, protean, and famously contested— and so a definition may be helpful. "Americanism" has two different meanings. It signifies both what is distinctive about the United States (and the colonies and territories that formed it) and loyalty to that nation, rooted in a defense of its political ideals. ...

I. Whose America?

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See Your Declaration Americans!!!: Abolitionism, Americanism, and the Revolutionary Tradition in Free Black Politics

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pp. 25-52

Sometime during the eventful year of 1776, a mulatto man named Lemuel Haynes sat down and composed his own addition to the Declaration of Independence: a manuscript entitled "Liberty Further Extended."1 A Massachusetts resident and fervent patriot, the twenty-three-year-old Haynes might have also used the title to describe the course of his own life up to that point. ...

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Anticipating Americanism: An Individual Perspective on Republicanism in the Early Republic

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pp. 53-72

Throughout the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, American citizens rarely employed the term "Americanism." It was, for the most part, nonexistent in both their private correspondence and their public pronouncements. On those rare occasions when individuals did employ the term, they meant to convey simply allegiance to the nation-state ...

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True Americanism: Progressive Era Intellectuals and the Problem of Liberal Nationalism

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pp. 73-89

In the spring of 1894, Theodore Roosevelt surveyed the United States from Washington, D.C., and concluded that the nation lacked the spirit of "true Americanism." Absent that spirit, the U.S. Civil Service commissioner warned, American democracy would succumb to social disintegration. ...

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The American Century of Henry R. Luce

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pp. 90-107

In the course of the last century, was there a defining moment of patriotic expression and reflection? I move the nomination of 1941. The Four Freedoms were enunciated on January 6 of that year, and the next month an influential media magnate published "The American Century." ...

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The Unlovely Residue of Outworn Prejudices: The Hart-Celler Act and the Politics of Immigration Reform, 1945–1965

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pp. 108-127

It is to the Hart-Celler Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 that we generally attribute the vast changes in the demographics of the United States of the last quarter century. Hart-Celler opened up new chains of migration from the third world: Latinos became the fastest growing ethnoracial minority group in the United States, ...

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In the Shadow of Vietnam: Liberal Nationalism and the Problem of War

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pp. 128-152

From Theodore Roosevelt’s charge up San Juan Hill in 1898, through the celebration of the multiethnic World War II platoon, to John F. Kennedy’s Cold War patriotism, war figured centrally in the minds of Americans who wished to forge a liberal nation. Twentieth-century wars became occasions for celebrating America’s greatness, ...

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Religious Diversity: The American Experiment That Works

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pp. 153-166

Mention the word "diversity," as people do all the time these days in the United States, and one thinks immediately of questions concerning race. When the subject is broadened beyond race, moreover, it often extends to other categories of human existence—including ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation—that are to some degree like race, ...

II. Americanism in the World

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Americanism against American Empire

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pp. 169-191

Critics of U.S. territorial expansion, wars, and cultural influence abroad have rarely spoken of their views as a form of "Americanism." Perhaps they should have done so. After all, they offered their criticisms as guideposts for the moral revitalization of U.S. national identity. ...

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Japanese Intellectuals Define America, from the 1920s through World War II

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pp. 192-204

Since Commodore Matthew Perry’s Black Ships sailed into Edo (now Tokyo) harbor in 1853, the United States has been the indispensable measuring rod for reaffirming Japan’s international status and its place in world history. ...

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The Promise of Freedom, the Friend of Authority: American Culture in Postwar France

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pp. 205-220

This is a story about cultural exchange. It is meant to make several suggestions. The first is that some of the culture that Americans take to be indigenously American is a hybrid, a product of international interpretation, but this hybridity is usually hidden in the nationalist narratives that accompany it. ...

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French Views of American Modernity: From Text to Subtext

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pp. 221-241

This essay could be flippantly called a study in Occidentalism. Taking my cue from Edward Said’s seminal exploration of Orientalism as a repertoire of European representations concerning "the Orient," I propose to look at "America" as similarly an object of the European imagination. ...

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Suffering Sisters? American Feminists and the Problem of Female Genital Surgeries

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pp. 242-262

In 1985, when I was a student in Cairo, I went to hear a visiting American lecturer. Angela Davis was in town, speaking to an audience of about fifty women and men, under the sponsorship of the Arab Women’s Solidarity Association. Near the end of her lecture, Davis explained that she was in Egypt to research her contribution to an anthology ...

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Contributors

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pp. 263-264

Mia Bay is associate professor of history at Rutgers University. She is the author of The White Image in the Black Mind: African-American Ideas about White People, 1830–1925 (2000). ...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 265-266

This anthology would not have been possible without the support and assistance of a number of individuals, and it is our pleasure to thank them here. The book had its origins in a conference held at Georgetown University in March 2003. That gathering came to pass because of the support of Dean Jane McAuliffe; ...

Index

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pp. 267-279


E-ISBN-13: 9781469602332
E-ISBN-10: 1469602334
Print-ISBN-13: 9780807830109
Print-ISBN-10: 0807830100

Page Count: 288
Publication Year: 2006