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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Making the World Over in Americas Image
Notes on Nationalism
Types of Nationalism
The Evolution of the American Superiority Myth
The New World
Chosenness Mission and Destiny
Manifest Destiny and American Imperialism
The Leader of the Free World
The Arrogance of Power
The Presumption of National Superiority
The Myth of American Superiority
Blind Faith
Tolerance and Plurality
In Search of American Humility

Ideological Superiority
The Arrogance of Abundance
The Arrogance of Isolationism
Manifest Destiny and Continental Expansion

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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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