American Narcissism: The Myth of National Superiority

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Algora Publishing, 2006 - Всего страниц: 181
When does national pride cross the invisible boundary that separates benign patriotism and malignant nationalism? Nationalism is not unique to America: it was invented with the birth of modern nations. But nationalism is unique in America. Americans conceive themselves and their nation to be incontrovertibly superior to the other peoples and nations of the earth. Historically, American notions of superiority spring from myths of the unique regenerative power of the new land; from visions of chosen-ness, mission and high destiny; from the indelible legends of frontier self-sufficiency; from the confidence and self-reliance needed to succeed as immigrants; from a powerful sense of America's isolation and uniqueness; from the realization of abundance; and finally from the perceived universality of American ideology. This predisposes us to a distinctively virulent strain of nationalism unlike that found in almost any other modern nation. As the unipolar moment fades into memory, this sense of unquestionable superiority - expressed through politics and foreign policy - does not play well before the global audience. In fact, it never did. In America today, notions of national superiority are far more deeply ingrained and far more potentially ruinous than most of us imagine. This is a journey that slides from reason to emotion, from individual liberty to mass tyranny, and from humanity to inhumanity. Drawing on sources from within the academic disciplines of history, sociology, political science and foreign affairs, the author seeks to decode scholarly jargon and lay bare this corner of the American mind. * Wilber W. Caldwell is the author of several books of social commentary that look atAmerican society through various lenses including history, architecture, food and philosophy. Earlier titles include The Courthouse and the Depot: The Architecture of Hope in an Age of Despair, a study of railroad expansion and its effect on public architecture in the rural South 1833-1910; Searching for the Dixie Barbecue: Journeys into the Southern Psyche, a humorous look at the world of barbecue and contemporary rural Southern culture; and Cynicism and the Evolution of the American Dream. A photographer as well as a writer, he lives in the mountains of northern Georgia.

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Manifest Destiny and American Imperialism
95
The Leader of the Free World
107
The Arrogance of Power
123
The Presumption of National Superiority
135
The Myth of American Superiority
137
Blind Faith
151
Tolerance and Plurality
155
In Search of American Humility
157

Ideological Superiority
49
The Arrogance of Abundance
61
The Arrogance of Isolationism
75
Manifest Destiny and Continental Expansion
83
Bibliography
167
Index
177
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Стр. 110 - Chronic wrongdoing, or an impotence which results in a general loosening of the ties of civilized society, may in America, as elsewhere, ultimately require intervention by some civilized nation, and in the Western Hemisphere the adherence of the United States to the Monroe Doctrine may force the United States, however reluctantly, in flagrant cases of such wrongdoing or impotence, to the exercise of an international police power.
Стр. 106 - God has not been preparing the English-speaking and Teutonic peoples for a thousand years for nothing but vain and idle self-contemplation and self-admiration. No! He has made us the master organizers of the world to establish system where chaos reigns.
Стр. 77 - The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is, in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible.
Стр. 37 - That coarseness and strength combined with acuteness and inquisitiveness; that practical, inventive turn of mind, quick to find expedients; that masterful grasp of material things, lacking in the artistic but powerful to effect great ends...
Стр. 54 - Why should Pennsylvania, founded by the English, become a colony of aliens, who will shortly be so numerous as to Germanize us instead of our Anglifying them, and will never adopt our language or customs any more than they can acquire our complexion?
Стр. 78 - Kindly separated by nature and a wide ocean from the exterminating havoc of one quarter of the globe...
Стр. 48 - If I say to an American that the country he lives in is a fine one, "Ay," he replies, "there is not its equal in the world." If I applaud the freedom that its inhabitants enjoy, he answers: "Freedom is a fine thing, but few nations are worthy to enjoy it.
Стр. 8 - We will cover the ocean with our merchant marine. We will build a navy to the measure of our greatness. Great colonies governing themselves, flying our flag and trading with us, will grow about our posts of trade. Our institutions will follow our flag on the wings of our commerce.

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