American Exceptionalism

An Experiment in History
Author: Charles A. Murray
Publisher: Aei Press
ISBN: 9780844772646
Category: Political Science
Page: 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.

American Exceptionalism

The Origins, History, and Future of the Nation's Greatest Strength
Author: Charles W. Dunn
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
ISBN: 1442222794
Category: History
Page: 174
View: 8180

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American Exceptionalism provokes intense debates culturally, economically, politically, and socially. This collection, edited by Charles W. Dunn of Regent University's Robertson School of Government, brings together analysis of the idea's origins, history and future.

The New American Exceptionalism


Author: Donald E. Pease
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
ISBN: 0816627827
Category: History
Page: 246
View: 1089

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For a half century following the end of World War II, the seemingly permanent cold war provided the United States with an organizing logic that governed nearly every aspect of American society and culture, giving rise to an unwavering belief in the nation's exceptionalism in global affairs and world history. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, this cold war paradigm was replaced by a series of new ideological narratives that ultimately resulted in the establishment of another potentially endless war: the global war on terror. In The New American Exceptionalism, pioneering scholar Donald E. Pease traces the evolution of these state fantasies and shows how they have shaped U.S. national identity since the end of the cold war, uncovering the ideological and cultural work required to convince Americans to surrender their civil liberties in exchange for the illusion of security. His argument follows the chronology of the transitions between paradigms from the inauguration of the New World Order under George H. W. Bush to the homeland security state that George W. Bush's administration installed in the wake of 9/11. Providing clear and convincing arguments about how the concept of American exceptionalism was reformulated and redeployed in this era, Pease examines a wide range of cultural works and political spectacles, including the exorcism of the Vietnam syndrome through victory in the Persian Gulf War and the creation of Islamic extremism as an official state enemy. At the same time, Pease notes that state fantasies cannot altogether conceal the inconsistencies they mask, showing how such events as the revelations of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib and the exposure of government incompetence after Hurricane Katrina opened fissures in the myth of exceptionalism, allowing Barack Obama to challenge the homeland security paradigm with an alternative state fantasy that privileges fairness, inclusion, and justice.

A Nation Like No Other

Why American Exceptionalism Matters
Author: Newt Gingrich
Publisher: Regnery Publishing
ISBN: 1596982713
Category: Political Science
Page: 264
View: 5350

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A best-selling author and former speaker of the House argues for "American Exceptionalism"--the notion that Americans get their rights not from the government, but from God. 300,000 first printing.

American Exceptionalism

An Idea that Made a Nation and Remade the World
Author: Hilde Eliassen Restad
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135048584
Category: Political Science
Page: 284
View: 9448

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How does American exceptionalism shape American foreign policy? Conventional wisdom states that American exceptionalism comes in two variations – the exemplary version and the missionary version. Being exceptional, experts in U.S. foreign policy argue, means that you either withdraw from the world like an isolated but inspiring "city upon a hill," or that you are called upon to actively lead the rest of the world to a better future. In her book, Hilde Eliassen Restad challenges this assumption, arguing that U.S. history has displayed a remarkably constant foreign policy tradition, which she labels unilateral internationalism. The United States, Restad argues, has not vacillated between an "exemplary" and a "missionary" identity. Instead, the United States developed an exceptionalist identity that, while idealizing the United States as an exemplary "city upon a hill," more often than not errs on the side of the missionary crusade in its foreign policy. Utilizing the latest historiography in the study of U.S. foreign relations, the book updates political science scholarship and sheds new light on the role American exceptionalism has played – and continues to play – in shaping America’s role in the world. This work will be of great interest to students and scholars of US foreign policy, security studies, and American politics.

American Exceptionalism


Author: Deborah L. Madsen
Publisher: Univ. Press of Mississippi
ISBN: 9781578061082
Category: History
Page: 186
View: 505

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Exceptionalism, the notion that Americans have a distinct and special destiny different from that of other nations, permeates every period of American history. It is the single most powerful force in forming the American identity. In American Exceptionalism Deborah L. Madsen traces this powerful theory from its origins in Puritan and Revolutionary-era writing to its latest manifestations in the Vietnam conflict and in current films and fiction. The growth of the idea is complex. In the 1600s the Massachusetts Bay colonists believed that God had intervened to create in America a "redeemer nation," as is shown in the writings of Mary Rowlandson, William Bradford, and John Cotton. From the perspective of works by Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville comes the nineteenth-century vision of expansion and dispossession of Native Americans. Later, antislavery writers wielded the rhetoric of exceptionalism against "the peculiar institution." Recent history of American exceptionalism is revealed in the culture of movie Westerns and revisions of the American myth as shown by the novels of Larry McMurtry, Toni Morrison, and Thomas Pynchon. Alongside each chapter on American perspectives, Madsen places the counterweight of views from Native Americans, Chicanos, and non-Americans. The result is a balanced and thorough sounding of the New World superpower's legacy to the Old World. "One has a good sense, from this book," says Miles Orvell, "that exceptionalism is not to be dismissed or condemned out of hand (as some are wont to do these days) but must be understood in all its complexity, as a source of America's distinct cultural shape, for better or worse. Madsen succeeds in bringing an intelligent detachment and broadly-informed perspective to an issue that is fraught with passion on all sides." Deborah L. Madsen is a professor of English at South Bank University in London.

The Myth of American Exceptionalism


Author: Godfrey Hodgson
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: 9780300125702
Category: History
Page: 221
View: 9913

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The idea that the United States is destined to spread its unique gifts of democracy and capitalism to other countries is dangerous for Americans and for the rest of the world, warns Godfrey Hodgson in this provocative book. Hodgson, a shrewd and highly respected British commentator, argues that America is not as exceptional as it would like to think; its blindness to its own history has bred a complacent nationalism and a disastrous foreign policy that has isolated and alienated it from the global community. Tracing the development of America’s high self regard from the early days of the republic to the present era, Hodgson demonstrates how its exceptionalism has been systematically exaggerated and—in recent decades—corrupted. While there have been distinct and original elements in America’s history and political philosophy, notes Hodgson, these have always been more heavily influenced by European thought and experience than Americans have been willing to acknowledge. A stimulating and timely assessment of how America’s belief in its exceptionalism has led it astray, this book is mandatory reading for its citizens, admirers, and detractors.

Human Accomplishment

The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 B.C. to 1950
Author: Charles Murray
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0061745677
Category: History
Page: 688
View: 7948

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A sweeping cultural survey reminiscent of Barzun's From Dawn to Decadence. "At irregular times and in scattered settings, human beings have achieved great things. Human Accomplishment is about those great things, falling in the domains known as the arts and sciences, and the people who did them.' So begins Charles Murray's unique account of human excellence, from the age of Homer to our own time. Employing techniques that historians have developed over the last century but that have rarely been applied to books written for the general public, Murray compiles inventories of the people who have been essential to the stories of literature, music, art, philosophy, and the sciences—a total of 4,002 men and women from around the world, ranked according to their eminence. The heart of Human Accomplishment is a series of enthralling descriptive chapters: on the giants in the arts and what sets them apart from the merely great; on the differences between great achievement in the arts and in the sciences; on the meta-inventions, 14 crucial leaps in human capacity to create great art and science; and on the patterns and trajectories of accomplishment across time and geography. Straightforwardly and undogmatically, Charles Murray takes on some controversial questions. Why has accomplishment been so concentrated in Europe? Among men? Since 1400? He presents evidence that the rate of great accomplishment has been declining in the last century, asks what it means, and offers a rich framework for thinking about the conditions under which the human spirit has expressed itself most gloriously. Eye-opening and humbling, Human Accomplishment is a fascinating work that describes what humans at their best can achieve, provides tools for exploring its wellsprings, and celebrates the continuing common quest of humans everywhere to discover truths, create beauty, and apprehend the good.

Real Education

Four Simple Truths for Bringing America's Schools Back to Reality
Author: Charles Murray
Publisher: Crown Forum
ISBN: 030744936X
Category: Social Science
Page: 224
View: 917

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With four simple truths as his framework, Charles Murray, the bestselling coauthor of The Bell Curve, sweeps away the hypocrisy, wishful thinking, and upside-down priorities that grip America’s educational establishment. Ability varies. Children differ in their ability to learn academic material. Doing our best for every child requires, above all else, that we embrace that simplest of truths. America’s educational system does its best to ignore it. Half of the children are below average. Many children cannot learn more than rudimentary reading and math. Real Education reviews what we know about the limits of what schools can do and the results of four decades of policies that require schools to divert huge resources to unattainable goals. Too many people are going to college. Almost everyone should get training beyond high school, but the number of students who want, need, or can profit from four years of residential education at the college level is a fraction of the number of young people who are struggling to get a degree. We have set up a standard known as the BA, stripped it of its traditional content, and made it an artificial job qualification. Then we stigmatize everyone who doesn’t get one. For most of America’s young people, today’s college system is a punishing anachronism. America’s future depends on how we educate the academically gifted. An elite already runs the country, whether we like it or not. Since everything we watch, hear, and read is produced by that elite, and since every business and government department is run by that elite, it is time to start thinking about the kind of education needed by the young people who will run the country. The task is not to give them more advanced technical training, but to give them an education that will make them into wiser adults; not to pamper them, but to hold their feet to the fire. The good news is that change is not only possible but already happening. Real Education describes the technological and economic trends that are creating options for parents who want the right education for their children, teachers who want to be free to teach again, and young people who want to find something they love doing and learn how to do it well. These are the people for whom Real Education was written. It is they, not the politicians or the educational establishment, who will bring American schools back to reality. Twenty-four years ago, Charles Murray’s Losing Ground changed the way the nation thought about welfare. Real Education is about to do the same thing for America’s schools. From the Hardcover edition.

Manifest Design

American Exceptionalism and Empire
Author: Thomas R. Hietala
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801488467
Category: History
Page: 284
View: 6248

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Praise for the earlier edition— "A fascinating, thought-provoking book. . . . Hietala shows that it was not destiny but design and aggression that enabled the United States to control Texas, New Mexico, and California."—Historian "Hietala has examined an impressive array of primary and secondary materials. . . . His handling of the relationship between the domestic and foreign policies of the decade shatters some myths about America's so-called manifest destiny and deserves the attention of all scholars and serious students of the period."—Western Historical Quarterly Since 1845, the phrase "manifest destiny" has offered a simple and appealing explanation of the dramatic expansionism of the United States. In this incisive book, Thomas R. Hietala reassesses the complex factors behind American policymaking during the late Jacksonian era. Hietala argues that the quest for territorial and commercial gains was based more on a desire for increased national stability than on any response to demands by individual pioneers or threats from abroad.

Freedom Feminism

Its Surprising History and why it Matters Today
Author: Christina Hoff Sommers
Publisher: Aei Press
ISBN: 9780844772622
Category: Political Science
Page: 127
View: 8710

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Women s equality is one of the great achievements of Western civilization. Yet most American women today do not consider themselves feminists. Why is the term that describes one of the great chapters in the history of freedom in such disrepute? In Freedom Feminism: Its Surprising History and Why It Matters Today, Christina Hoff Sommers seeks to recover the lost history of American feminism by introducing readers to conservative feminism s forgotten heroines. More importantly, she demonstrates that a modern version of conservative feminism in which women are free to employ their equal status to pursue happiness in their own distinctive ways holds the key to a feminist renaissance. "Freedom Feminism" is a primer in theValues & Capitalism seriesintended for college students.

The Constitution

Understanding America's Founding Document
Author: Michael S. Greve
Publisher: Aei Press
ISBN: 9780844772585
Category: Law
Page: 115
View: 4268

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In The Constitution: Understanding America s Founding Document, Michael S. Greve explains how to think seriously about the United States Constitution and constitutions in general. What are constitutions supposed to do, and what can they accomplish?"

The American Spirit

Celebrating the Virtues and Values that Make Us Great
Author: Edwin J. Feulner,Brian Tracy
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
ISBN: 1595553908
Category: History
Page: 288
View: 6434

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The United States is an exceptional place to call home thanks to the character of the American people. With conviction and urgency, Ed Feulner and Brian Tracy affirm our core tenets?from patriotism and optimism to faith and generosity?and challenge all of us to live out the timeless principles of citizenship. Packed with engaging stories, insightful profiles, and eye-opening statistics, The American Spirit serves as an indispensable primer on the bedrock belief that an indomitable spirit does exist, that it defines us as a people, and that it must be preserved for the nation to flourish.

Arcs of Global Justice

Essays in Honour of William A. Schabas
Author: Margaret M. DeGuzman,William Schabas
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190272651
Category: Law
Page: 584
View: 1316

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Martin Luther King, Jr. once said "the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." Testing the optimism of that claim were the many fits and starts in the struggle for human rights that King helped to catalyze. The same is true of other events in the last half-century,from resistance to apartheid and genocide to equal and fair treatment in domestic criminal justice systems, to the formation of entities to prevent atrocities and to bring their perpetrators to justice. Within this display of myriad arcs may be found the many persons who helped shape thishalf-century of global justice-and prominent among them is William A. Schabas. His panoramic scholarship includes dozens of books and hundreds of articles, and he also has served as an influential policymaker, advocate, and mentor.This work honours William A. Schabas and his career with essays by luminary scholars and jurists from Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. The essays examine contemporary, historical, cultural, and theoretical aspects of the many arcs of global justice with which Professor Schabas has engaged, infields including public international law, human rights, transitional justice, international criminal law, and capital punishment.

Christian Ethics

An Introduction to Biblical Moral Reasoning
Author: Wayne Grudem
Publisher: Crossway
ISBN: 1433549689
Category: Religion
Page: 1296
View: 5495

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What does the Bible teach about how to live in today’s world? Best-selling author and professor Wayne Grudem distills over forty years of teaching experience into a single volume aimed at helping readers apply a biblical worldview to difficult ethical issues, including wealth and poverty, marriage and divorce, birth control, abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality, business practices, environmental stewardship, telling the truth, knowing God’s will, understanding Old Testament laws, and more.

Wealth and Justice

The Morality of Democratic Capitalism
Author: Peter Wehner,Arthur C. Brooks
Publisher: Government Institutes
ISBN: 084474378X
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 88
View: 1664

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Popular opinion would have us believe that America's free market system is driven by greed and materialism, resulting in gross inequalities of wealth, destruction of the environment, and other social ills. Even proponents of capitalism often refer to the free market as simply a 'lesser evil' whose faults are preferable to those of social democracy or communism. But what if the conventional understanding of capitalism as corrupt and unprincipled is wrong? What if the free market economy actually reinforces Christian values? In Wealth and Justice: The Morality of Democratic Capitalism, Arthur C. Brooks and Peter Wehner explore how America's system of democratic capitalism both depends upon and cultivates an intricate social web of families, churches, and communities. Far from oppressing and depriving individuals, the free market system uniquely enables Americans to exercise vocation and experience the dignity of self-sufficiency, all while contributing to the common good. The fruits of this system include the alleviation of poverty, better health, and greater access to education than at any other time in human history-but also a more significant prosperity: the flourishing of the human soul.

What It Means to Be a Libertarian

A Personal Interpretation
Author: Charles Murray
Publisher: Broadway Books
ISBN: 0307764923
Category: Political Science
Page: 196
View: 8755

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Charles Murray believes that America's founders had it right--strict limits on the power of the central government and strict protection of the individual are the keys to a genuinely free society. In What It Means to Be a Libertarian, he proposes a government reduced to the barest essentials: an executive branch consisting only of the White House and trimmed-down departments of state, defense, justice, and environment protection; a Congress so limited in power that it meets only a few months each year; and a federal code stripped of all but a handful of regulations. Combining the tenets of classical Libertarian philosophy with his own highly-original, always provocative thinking, Murray shows why less government advances individual happiness and promotes more vital communities and a richer culture. By applying the truths our founders held to be self-evident to today's most urgent social and political problems, he creates a clear, workable vision for the future. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Inventing American Exceptionalism

The Origins of American Adversarial Legal Culture, 1800-1877
Author: Amalia D. Kessler
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300198078
Category:
Page: 464
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A highly engaging account of the developments--not only legal, but also socioeconomic, political, and cultural--that gave rise to Americans' distinctively lawyer-driven legal culture When Americans imagine their legal system, it is the adversarial trial--dominated by dueling larger-than-life lawyers undertaking grand public performances--that first comes to mind. But as award-winning author Amalia Kessler reveals in this engrossing history, it was only in the turbulent decades before the Civil War that adversarialism became a defining American practice and ideology, displacing alternative, more judge-driven approaches to procedure. By drawing on a broad range of methods and sources--and by recovering neglected influences (including from Europe)--the author shows how the emergence of the American adversarial legal culture was a product not only of developments internal to law, but also of wider socioeconomic, political, and cultural debates over whether and how to undertake market regulation and pursue racial equality. As a result, adversarialism came to play a key role in defining American legal institutions and practices, as well as national identity.

American Exceptionalism and Civil Religion

Reassessing the History of an Idea
Author: John D. Wilsey
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
ISBN: 0830899294
Category: Religion
Page: 262
View: 2221

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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.

By the People

Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission
Author: Charles Murray
Publisher: Crown Forum
ISBN: 0385346522
Category: Social Science
Page: 336
View: 8402

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The American way of life, built on individual liberty and limited government, is on life support. American freedom is being gutted. Whether we are trying to run a business, practice a vocation, raise our families, cooperate with our neighbors, or follow our religious beliefs, we run afoul of the government—not because we are doing anything wrong but because the government has decided it knows better. When we object, that government can and does tell us, “Try to fight this, and we’ll ruin you.” In this provocative book, acclaimed social scientist and bestselling author Charles Murray shows us why we can no longer hope to roll back the power of the federal government through the normal political process. The Constitution is broken in ways that cannot be fixed even by a sympathetic Supreme Court. Our legal system is increasingly lawless, unmoored from traditional ideas of “the rule of law.” The legislative process has become systemically corrupt no matter which party is in control. But there’s good news beyond the Beltway. Technology is siphoning power from sclerotic government agencies and putting it in the hands of individuals and communities. The rediversification of American culture is making local freedom attractive to liberals as well as conservatives. People across the political spectrum are increasingly alienated from a regulatory state that nakedly serves its own interests rather than those of ordinary Americans. The even better news is that federal government has a fatal weakness: It can get away with its thousands of laws and regulations only if the overwhelming majority of Americans voluntarily comply with them. Murray describes how civil disobedience backstopped by legal defense funds can make large portions of the 180,000-page Federal Code of Regulations unenforceable, through a targeted program that identifies regulations that arbitrarily and capriciously tell us what to do. Americans have it within their power to make the federal government an insurable hazard like hurricanes and floods, leaving us once again free to live our lives as we see fit. By the People’s hopeful message is that rebuilding our traditional freedoms does not require electing a right-thinking Congress or president, nor does it require five right-thinking justices on the Supreme Court. It can be done by we the people, using America’s unique civil society to put government back in its proper box. From the Hardcover edition.