The Crown of Thorns

Author:,

Publisher:transcript Verlag

ISBN:3839414857

Total Pages:450

Viewed:951

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This essential introduction to American studies examines the core foundational myths upon which the nation is based and which still determine discussions of US-American identities today. These myths include the myth of »discovery,« the Pocahontas myth, the myth of the Promised Land, the myth of the Founding Fathers, the melting pot myth, the myth of the West, and the myth of the self-made man. The chapters provide extended analyses of each of these myths, using examples from popular culture, literature, memorial culture, school books, and every-day life. Including visual material as well as study questions, this book will be of interest to any student of American studies and will foster an understanding of the United States of America as an imagined community by analyzing the foundational role of myths in the process of nation building.

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Myths America Lives By

Author:Richard T. Hughes

Publisher:University of Illinois Press

ISBN:0252050800

Total Pages:272

Viewed:692

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Six myths lie at the heart of the American experience. Taken as aspirational, four of those myths remind us of our noblest ideals, challenging us to realize our nation's promise while galvanizing the sense of hope and unity we need to reach our goals. Misused, these myths allow for illusions of innocence that fly in the face of white supremacy, the primal American myth that stands at the heart of all the others.

The End of the Myth

Author:Greg Grandin

Publisher:Metropolitan Books

ISBN:1250179815

Total Pages:256

Viewed:384

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WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE A new and eye-opening interpretation of the meaning of the frontier, from early westward expansion to Trump’s border wall. Ever since this nation’s inception, the idea of an open and ever-expanding frontier has been central to American identity. Symbolizing a future of endless promise, it was the foundation of the United States’ belief in itself as an exceptional nation – democratic, individualistic, forward-looking. Today, though, America hasa new symbol: the border wall. In The End of the Myth, acclaimed historian Greg Grandin explores the meaning of the frontier throughout the full sweep of U.S. history – from the American Revolution to the War of 1898, the New Deal to the election of 2016. For centuries, he shows, America’s constant expansion – fighting wars and opening markets – served as a “gate of escape,” helping to deflect domestic political and economic conflicts outward. But this deflection meant that the country’s problems, from racism to inequality, were never confronted directly. And now, the combined catastrophe of the 2008 financial meltdown and our unwinnable wars in the Middle East have slammed this gate shut, bringing political passions that had long been directed elsewhere back home. It is this new reality, Grandin says, that explains the rise of reactionary populism and racist nationalism, the extreme anger and polarization that catapulted Trump to the presidency. The border wall may or may not be built, but it will survive as a rallying point, an allegorical tombstone marking the end of American exceptionalism.

Author:Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz,Dina Gilio-Whitaker

Publisher:Beacon Press

ISBN:0807062669

Total Pages:224

Viewed:698

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Unpacks the twenty-one most common myths and misconceptions about Native Americans In this enlightening book, scholars and activists Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and Dina Gilio-Whitaker tackle a wide range of myths about Native American culture and history that have misinformed generations. Tracing how these ideas evolved, and drawing from history, the authors disrupt long-held and enduring myths such as: “Columbus Discovered America” “Thanksgiving Proves the Indians Welcomed Pilgrims” “Indians Were Savage and Warlike” “Europeans Brought Civilization to Backward Indians” “The United States Did Not Have a Policy of Genocide” “Sports Mascots Honor Native Americans” “Most Indians Are on Government Welfare” “Indian Casinos Make Them All Rich” “Indians Are Naturally Predisposed to Alcohol” Each chapter deftly shows how these myths are rooted in the fears and prejudice of European settlers and in the larger political agendas of a settler state aimed at acquiring Indigenous land and tied to narratives of erasure and disappearance. Accessibly written and revelatory, “All the Real Indians Died Off” challenges readers to rethink what they have been taught about Native Americans and history. From the Trade Paperback edition.

How Much of These Hills Is Gold

Author:C Pam Zhang

Publisher:Penguin

ISBN:0525537228

Total Pages:288

Viewed:945

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A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR A WASHINGTON POST NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR ONE OF BARACK OBAMA'S FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR ONE OF NPR'S BEST BOOKS OF 2020 LONGLISTED FOR THE 2020 BOOKER PRIZE FINALIST FOR THE 2020 CENTER FOR FICTION FIRST NOVEL PRIZE WINNER OF THE ROSENTHAL FAMILY FOUNDATION AWARD, FROM THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ARTS AND LETTERS A NATIONAL BOOK FOUNDATION "5 UNDER 35" HONOREE NATIONAL BESTSELLER “Belongs on a shelf all of its own.” —NPR “Outstanding.” —The Washington Post “Revolutionary . . . A visionary addition to American literature.” —Star Tribune An electric debut novel set against the twilight of the American gold rush, two siblings are on the run in an unforgiving landscape—trying not just to survive but to find a home. Ba dies in the night; Ma is already gone. Newly orphaned children of immigrants, Lucy and Sam are suddenly alone in a land that refutes their existence. Fleeing the threats of their western mining town, they set off to bury their father in the only way that will set them free from their past. Along the way, they encounter giant buffalo bones, tiger paw prints, and the specters of a ravaged landscape as well as family secrets, sibling rivalry, and glimpses of a different kind of future. Both epic and intimate, blending Chinese symbolism and reimagined history with fiercely original language and storytelling, How Much of These Hills Is Gold is a haunting adventure story, an unforgettable sibling story, and the announcement of a stunning new voice in literature. On a broad level, it explores race in an expanding country and the question of where immigrants are allowed to belong. But page by page, it’s about the memories that bind and divide families, and the yearning for home.

Myth of the Western

Author:Carter Matthew Carter

Publisher:Edinburgh University Press

ISBN:1474402836

Total Pages:246

Viewed:1622

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What is the nature of the relationship between the Hollywood Western and American frontier mythology? How have Western films helped develop cultural and historical perceptions, attitudes and beliefs towards the frontier? Is there still a place for the genre in light of revisionist histories of the American West?Myth of the Western re-invigorates the debate surrounding the relationship between the Western and frontier mythology, arguing for the importance of the genre's socio-cultural, historical and political dimensions. Taking a number of critical-theoretical and philosophical approaches, Matthew Carter applies them to prominent forms of frontier historiography. He also considers the historiographic element of the Western by exploring the different ways in which the genre has responded to the issues raised by the frontier. Carter skilfully argues that the genre has - and continues to reveal - the complexities and contradictions at the heart of US society. With its clear analyses of and intellectual challenges to the film scholarship that has developed around the Western over a 65-year period, this book adds new depth to our understanding of specific film texts and of the genre as a whole - a welcome resource for students and scholars in both Film Studies and American Studies.

Fantasyland

Author:Kurt Andersen

Publisher:Random House

ISBN:1588366871

Total Pages:480

Viewed:983

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “The single most important explanation, and the fullest explanation, of how Donald Trump became president of the United States . . . nothing less than the most important book that I have read this year.”—Lawrence O’Donnell How did we get here? In this sweeping, eloquent history of America, Kurt Andersen shows that what’s happening in our country today—this post-factual, “fake news” moment we’re all living through—is not something new, but rather the ultimate expression of our national character. America was founded by wishful dreamers, magical thinkers, and true believers, by hucksters and their suckers. Fantasy is deeply embedded in our DNA. Over the course of five centuries—from the Salem witch trials to Scientology to the Satanic Panic of the 1980s, from P. T. Barnum to Hollywood and the anything-goes, wild-and-crazy sixties, from conspiracy theories to our fetish for guns and obsession with extraterrestrials—our love of the fantastic has made America exceptional in a way that we've never fully acknowledged. From the start, our ultra-individualism was attached to epic dreams and epic fantasies—every citizen was free to believe absolutely anything, or to pretend to be absolutely anybody. With the gleeful erudition and tell-it-like-it-is ferocity of a Christopher Hitchens, Andersen explores whether the great American experiment in liberty has gone off the rails. Fantasyland could not appear at a more perfect moment. If you want to understand Donald Trump and the culture of twenty-first-century America, if you want to know how the lines between reality and illusion have become dangerously blurred, you must read this book. NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE “This is a blockbuster of a book. Take a deep breath and dive in.”—Tom Brokaw “[An] absorbing, must-read polemic . . . a provocative new study of America’s cultural history.”—Newsday “Compelling and totally unnerving.”—The Village Voice “A frighteningly convincing and sometimes uproarious picture of a country in steep, perhaps terminal decline that would have the founding fathers weeping into their beards.”—The Guardian “This is an important book—the indispensable book—for understanding America in the age of Trump.”—Walter Isaacson, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Leonardo da Vinci

The Riches of This Land

Author:Jim Tankersley

Publisher:PublicAffairs

ISBN:1541767845

Total Pages:320

Viewed:321

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A vivid character-driven narrative, fused with important new economic and political reporting and research, that busts the myths about middle class decline and points the way to its revival. For over a decade, Jim Tankersley has been on a journey to understand what the hell happened to the world's greatest middle-class success story -- the post-World-War-II boom that faded into decades of stagnation and frustration for American workers. In The Riches of This Land, Tankersley fuses the story of forgotten Americans-- struggling women and men who he met on his journey into the travails of the middle class-- with important new economic and political research, providing fresh understanding how to create a more widespread prosperity. He begins by unraveling the real mystery of the American economy since the 1970s - not where did the jobs go, but why haven't new and better ones been created to replace them. His analysis begins with the revelation that women and minorities played a far more crucial role in building the post-war middle class than today's politicians typically acknowledge, and policies that have done nothing to address the structural shifts of the American economy have enabled a privileged few to capture nearly all the benefits of America's growing prosperity. Meanwhile, the "angry white men of Ohio" have been sold by Trump and his ilk a theory of the economy that is dangerously backward, one that pits them against immigrants, minorities, and women who should be their allies. At the culmination of his journey, Tankersley lays out specific policy prescriptions and social undertakings that can begin moving the needle in the effort to make new and better jobs appear. By fostering an economy that opens new pathways for all workers to reach their full potential -- men and women, immigrant or native-born, regardless of race -- America can once again restore the upward flow of talent that can power growth and prosperity.

The Heartland

Author:Kristin L. Hoganson

Publisher:Penguin

ISBN:0525561625

Total Pages:432

Viewed:1740

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A history of a quintessentially American place--the rural and small town heartland--that uncovers deep yet hidden currents of connection with the world. When Kristin L. Hoganson arrived in Champaign, Illinois, after teaching at Harvard, studying at Yale, and living in the D.C. metro area with various stints overseas, she expected to find her new home, well, isolated. Even provincial. After all, she had landed in the American heartland, a place where the nation's identity exists in its pristine form. Or so we have been taught to believe. Struck by the gap between reputation and reality, she determined to get to the bottom of history and myth. The deeper she dug into the making of the modern heartland, the wider her story became as she realized that she'd uncovered an unheralded crossroads of people, commerce, and ideas. But the really interesting thing, Hoganson found, was that over the course of American history, even as the region's connections with the rest of the planet became increasingly dense and intricate, the idea of the rural Midwest as a steadfast heartland became a stronger and more stubbornly immovable myth. In enshrining a symbolic heart, the American people have repressed the kinds of stories that Hoganson tells, of sweeping breadth and depth and soul. In The Heartland, Kristin L. Hoganson drills deep into the center of the country, only to find a global story in the resulting core sample. Deftly navigating the disconnect between history and myth, she tracks both the backstory of this region and the evolution of the idea of an unalloyed heart at the center of the land. A provocative and highly original work of historical scholarship, The Heartland speaks volumes about pressing preoccupations, among them identity and community, immigration and trade, and security and global power. And food. To read it is to be inoculated against using the word "heartland" unironically ever again.

Born in the U.S.A.: The Myth of American Popular Music from Colonial Times to the Present

Author:Timothy E. Scheurer

Publisher:Univ. Press of Mississippi

ISBN:1604738073

Total Pages:293

Viewed:1060

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This is the first study to explore fully the myth of America as reflected in the nation's popular music. Beginning with the songs of the Pilgrims and continuing through more than two centuries of history and music, Born in the U.S.A. shows the emerging American myth and gives a close reading of the compositions of songwriters as diverse as William Billings, Henry Clay Work, Irving Berlin, Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, and Bruce Springsteen.So that the full and diverse narrative of this complex nation might be recorded, this insightful study is focused both upon the national myth and upon the songwriters and performers representing subcultures and alternative viewpoints that are the text of America's story. Through hymnlike paeans and through discordant lamentations protesting the realities of the contemporary workaday world, popular music is an astonishing mirror of American history.

The Myth of American Diplomacy

Author:Walter L. Hixson

Publisher:Yale University Press

ISBN:030015013X

Total Pages:392

Viewed:1456

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In this major reconceptualization of the history of U.S. foreign policy, Walter Hixson engages with the entire sweep of that history, from its Puritan beginnings to the twenty-first century’s war on terror. He contends that a mythical national identity, which includes the notion of American moral superiority and the duty to protect all of humanity, has had remarkable continuity through the centuries, repeatedly propelling America into war against an endless series of external enemies. As this myth has supported violence, violence in turn has supported the myth. The Myth of American Diplomacy shows the deep connections between American foreign policy and the domestic culture from which it springs. Hixson investigates the national narratives that help to explain ethnic cleansing of Indians, nineteenth-century imperial thrusts in Mexico and the Philippines, the two World Wars, the Cold War, the Iraq War, and today’s war on terror. He examines the discourses within America that have continuously inspired what he calls our “pathologically violent foreign policy.” The presumption that, as an exceptionally virtuous nation, the United States possesses a special right to exert power only encourages violence, Hixson concludes, and he suggests some fruitful ways to redirect foreign policy toward a more just and peaceful world.

The Myth of Mental Illness

Author:Thomas S. Szasz

Publisher:Harper Collins

ISBN:0062104748

Total Pages:368

Viewed:1085

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50th Anniversary Edition With a New Preface and Two Bonus Essays The most influential critique of psychiatry ever written, Thomas Szasz's classic book revolutionized thinking about the nature of the psychiatric profession and the moral implications of its practices. By diagnosing unwanted behavior as mental illness, psychiatrists, Szasz argues, absolve individuals of responsibility for their actions and instead blame their alleged illness. He also critiques Freudian psychology as a pseudoscience and warns against the dangerous overreach of psychiatry into all aspects of modern life.

Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest

Author:Matthew Restall

Publisher:Oxford University Press

ISBN:0197537316

Total Pages:N.A

Viewed:1659

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An update of a popular work that takes on the myths of the Spanish Conquest of the Americas, featuring a new afterword. Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest reveals how the Spanish invasions in the Americas have been conceived and presented, misrepresented and misunderstood, in the five centuries since Columbus first crossed the Atlantic. This book is a unique and provocative synthesis of ideas and themes that were for generations debated or perpetuated without question in academic and popular circles. The 2003 edition became the foundation stone of a scholarly turn since called The New Conquest History. Each of the book's seven chapters describes one "myth," or one aspect of the Conquest that has been distorted or misrepresented, examines its roots, and explodes its fallacies and misconceptions. Using a wide array of primary and secondary sources, written in a scholarly but readable style, Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest explains why Columbus did not set out to prove the world was round, the conquistadors were not soldiers, the native Americans did not take them for gods, Cortés did not have a unique vision of conquest procedure, and handfuls of vastly outnumbered Spaniards did not bring down great empires with stunning rapidity. Conquest realities were more complex--and far more fascinating--than conventional histories have related, and they featured a more diverse cast of protagonists-Spanish, Native American, and African. This updated edition of a key event in the history of the Americas critically examines the book's arguments, how they have held up, and why they prompted the rise of a New Conquest History.

Clashing over Commerce

Author:Douglas A. Irwin

Publisher:University of Chicago Press

ISBN:022639901X

Total Pages:832

Viewed:1460

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Should the United States be open to commerce with other countries, or should it protect domestic industries from foreign competition? This question has been the source of bitter political conflict throughout American history. Such conflict was inevitable, James Madison argued in The Federalist Papers, because trade policy involves clashing economic interests. The struggle between the winners and losers from trade has always been fierce because dollars and jobs are at stake: depending on what policy is chosen, some industries, farmers, and workers will prosper, while others will suffer. Douglas A. Irwin’s Clashing over Commerce is the most authoritative and comprehensive history of US trade policy to date, offering a clear picture of the various economic and political forces that have shaped it. From the start, trade policy divided the nation—first when Thomas Jefferson declared an embargo on all foreign trade and then when South Carolina threatened to secede from the Union over excessive taxes on imports. The Civil War saw a shift toward protectionism, which then came under constant political attack. Then, controversy over the Smoot-Hawley tariff during the Great Depression led to a policy shift toward freer trade, involving trade agreements that eventually produced the World Trade Organization. Irwin makes sense of this turbulent history by showing how different economic interests tend to be grouped geographically, meaning that every proposed policy change found ready champions and opponents in Congress. As the Trump administration considers making major changes to US trade policy, Irwin’s sweeping historical perspective helps illuminate the current debate. Deeply researched and rich with insight and detail, Clashing over Commerce provides valuable and enduring insights into US trade policy past and present.

The World of Plymouth Plantation

Author:Carla Gardina Pestana

Publisher:Harvard University Press

ISBN:067425080X

Total Pages:248

Viewed:1007

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An intimate look inside Plymouth Plantation that goes beyond familiar founding myths to portray real life in the settlement—the hard work, small joys, and deep connections to others beyond the shores of Cape Cod Bay. The English settlement at Plymouth has usually been seen in isolation. Indeed, the colonists gain our admiration in part because we envision them arriving on a desolate, frozen shore, far from assistance and forced to endure a deadly first winter alone. Yet Plymouth was, from its first year, a place connected to other places. Going beyond the tales we learned from schoolbooks, Carla Gardina Pestana offers an illuminating account of life in Plymouth Plantation. The colony was embedded in a network of trade and sociability. The Wampanoag, whose abandoned village the new arrivals used for their first settlement, were only the first among many people the English encountered and upon whom they came to rely. The colonists interacted with fishermen, merchants, investors, and numerous others who passed through the region. Plymouth was thereby linked to England, Europe, the Caribbean, Virginia, the American interior, and the coastal ports of West Africa. Pestana also draws out many colorful stories—of stolen red stockings, a teenager playing with gunpowder aboard ship, the gift of a chicken hurried through the woods to a sickbed. These moments speak intimately of the early North American experience beyond familiar events like the first Thanksgiving. On the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower landing and the establishment of the settlement, The World of Plymouth Plantation recovers the sense of real life there and sets the colony properly within global history.

Author:Aviva Chomsky

Publisher:Beacon Press

ISBN:0807057177

Total Pages:272

Viewed:1665

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Revised and expanded edition of the groundbreaking book which demystifies twenty-one of the most widespread myths and beliefs about immigrants and immigrations. Aviva Chomsky dismantles twenty-one of the most widespread and pernicious myths and beliefs about immigrants and immigration in this incisive book. “They Take Our Jobs!” challenges the underlying assumptions that fuel misinformed claims about immigrants, radically altering our notions of citizenship, discrimination, and US history. With fresh material including a new introduction, revised timeline, and updated terminology section, this expanded edition is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how these myths are used to promote aggressive anti-immigrant policies.

Notes on a Foreign Country

Author:Suzy Hansen

Publisher:Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN:0374712441

Total Pages:288

Viewed:352

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Winner of the Overseas Press Club of America's Cornelius Ryan Award • Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Nonfiction A New York Times Book Review Notable Book • Named a Best Book of the Year by New York Magazine and The Progressive "A deeply honest and brave portrait of of an individual sensibility reckoning with her country's violent role in the world." —Hisham Matar, The New York Times Book Review In the wake of the September 11 attacks and the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, Suzy Hansen, who grew up in an insular conservative town in New Jersey, was enjoying early success as a journalist for a high-profile New York newspaper. Increasingly, though, the disconnect between the chaos of world events and the response at home took on pressing urgency for her. Seeking to understand the Muslim world that had been reduced to scaremongering headlines, she moved to Istanbul. Hansen arrived in Istanbul with romantic ideas about a mythical city perched between East and West, and with a naïve sense of the Islamic world beyond. Over the course of her many years of living in Turkey and traveling in Greece, Egypt, Afghanistan, and Iran, she learned a great deal about these countries and their cultures and histories and politics. But the greatest, most unsettling surprise would be what she learned about her own country—and herself, an American abroad in the era of American decline. It would take leaving her home to discover what she came to think of as the two Americas: the country and its people, and the experience of American power around the world. She came to understand that anti-Americanism is not a violent pathology. It is, Hansen writes, “a broken heart . . . A one-hundred-year-old relationship.” Blending memoir, journalism, and history, and deeply attuned to the voices of those she met on her travels, Notes on a Foreign Country is a moving reflection on America’s place in the world. It is a powerful journey of self-discovery and revelation—a profound reckoning with what it means to be American in a moment of grave national and global turmoil.

American Creation

Author:Joseph J. Ellis

Publisher:Vintage

ISBN:0307267741

Total Pages:304

Viewed:483

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From the first shots fired at Lexington to the signing of the Declaration of Independence to the negotiations for the Louisiana Purchase, Joseph J. Ellis guides us through the decisive issues of the nation’s founding, and illuminates the emerging philosophies, shifting alliances, and personal and political foibles of our now iconic leaders–Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, and Adams. He casts an incisive eye on the founders’ achievements, arguing that the American Revolution was, paradoxically, an evolution–and that part of what made it so extraordinary was the gradual pace at which it occurred. He explains how the idea of a strong federal government was eventually embraced by the American people, and details the emergence of the two-party system, which stands as the founders’ most enduring legacy. Ellis is equally incisive about their failures, and he makes clear how their inability to abolish slavery and to reach a just settlement with the Native Americans has played an equally important role in shaping our national character. With eloquence and insight, Ellis strips the mythic veneer of the revolutionary generation to reveal men both human and inspired, possessed of both brilliance and blindness. American Creation is an audiobook that delineates an era of flawed greatness, at a time when understanding our origins is more important than ever.

In Defense of Looting

Author:Vicky Osterweil

Publisher:Bold Type Books

ISBN:1645036677

Total Pages:288

Viewed:396

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A fresh argument for rioting and looting as our most powerful tools for dismantling white supremacy Looting--a crowd of people publicly, openly, and directly seizing goods--is one of the more extreme actions that can take place in the midst of social unrest. Even self-identified radicals distance themselves from looters, fearing that violent tactics reflect badly on the broader movement. But Vicky Osterweil argues that stealing goods and destroying property are direct, pragmatic strategies of wealth redistribution and improving life for the working class--not to mention the brazen messages these methods send to the police and the state. All our beliefs about the innate righteousness of property and ownership, Osterweil explains, are built on the history of anti-Black, anti-Indigenous oppression. From slave revolts to labor strikes to the modern-day movements for climate change, Black lives, and police abolition, Osterweil makes a convincing case for rioting and looting as weapons that bludgeon the status quo while uplifting the poor and marginalized. In Defense of Looting is a history of violent protest sparking social change, a compelling reframing of revolutionary activism, and a practical vision for a dramatically restructured society.

The Mythology Book

Author:DK

Publisher:Penguin

ISBN:1465477500

Total Pages:352

Viewed:664

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More than 80 classics retold and explained, from early creation beliefs to classical hero narratives and the recurring theme of the afterlife. Who is the trickster god, Maui? What is the Mead of Poetry and what gift did it bestow on those who drank it? What did Ancient Egyptian mythology say about the Underworld? The latest title in the bestselling Big Ideas series, The Mythology Book answers these questions and more, as it explores the compelling worlds and characters depicted in myths and legends. Delve into each myth and discover the meanings behind these stories, getting to the heart of their significance to different cultures worldwide. More than just stories, myths are testament to the amazing creativity of humans striving to explain and make sense of the world around them. Here you will discover Zeus, god of the sky and ruler of the Olympian gods, Loki, the cunning trickster with a knack for causing havoc, Thor with his mighty hammer, and Hades, ruler of the underworld. Beyond the gods and goddesses of Ancient Greek, Roman, and Norse myths this book delves into the stories woven by the Australian aborigines, the Cherokee, and Aztecs, each brimming with amazing characters and insights into human existence.