By Colin Woodard

The writer of American Nations examines the historical past of and options to the main American query: how top to reconcile person liberty with the upkeep of a unfastened society

The fight among person rights and the nice of the neighborhood as a complete has been the foundation of approximately each significant war of words in our historical past, from the debates on the Constitutional conference and within the run as much as the Civil conflict to the fights surrounding the agendas of the Federalists, the Progressives, the recent buyers, the civil rights move, and the Tea social gathering. In American Character, Colin Woodard lines those key strands in American politics during the 4 centuries of the nation’s lifestyles, from the 1st colonies in the course of the Gilded Age, nice melancholy and the current day, and he explores how varied areas of the rustic have effectively or disastrously accommodated them. The self reliant streak came across its such a lot pernicious shape within the antebellum South yet used to be balanced within the Gilded Age by means of communitarian reform efforts; the recent Deal used to be an instance of a profitable coalition among communitarian-minded japanese elites and Southerners.

Woodard argues that protecting a liberal democracy, a society the place mass human freedom is feasible, calls for discovering a stability among maintaining  individual liberty and nurturing a unfastened society. Going to both libertarian or collectivist extremes leads to tyranny. yet the place does the “sweet spot” lie within the usa, a federation of disparate neighborhood cultures that experience continually strongly disagreed on those matters? Woodard leads readers on a riveting and revealing trip via 4 centuries of fight, experimentation, successes and screw ups to supply a solution. His traditionally educated and pragmatic feedback on the best way to do so stability and holiday the nation’s  political impasse can be of curiosity to an individual who cares concerning the present American predicament—political, ideological, and sociological.

Show description

Read or Download American Character: A History of the Epic Struggle Between Individual Liberty and the Common Good PDF

Similar american history books

Born Sober: Prohibition in Oklahoma, 1907-59

Prohibition all started in Oklahoma 13 years ahead of passage of the Volstead Act and didn't finish till twenty-six years after the remainder of the US had declared the “noble experiment” to be a failure. whilst country electorate repealed prohibition in April, 1959, they ended a fifty-two-year drought and disproved Will Rogers’ assertion that Oklahomans could vote dry so long as they can stagger to the polls.

The State Boys Rebellion

A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist tells the superb tale of ways a bunch of imprisoned boys received their freedom, stumbled on justice, and survived one of many darkest and least-known episodes of yankee history.
In the early 20th century, usa future health officers used IQ checks to unmarried out "feebleminded" young children and strength them into associations the place they have been denied schooling, sterilized, drugged, and abused. below courses that bumped into the Nineteen Seventies, greater than 250,000 kids have been separated from their households, even if a lot of them have been simply undesirable orphans, truants, or delinquents.

The kingdom Boys uprising conveys the stunning fact approximately America's eugenic period during the stories of a gaggle of boys held on the Fernald kingdom college in Massachusetts beginning within the past due Nineteen Forties. within the culture of Erin Brockovich, it recounts the boys' dramatic fight to call for their rights and safe their freedom. It additionally covers their scary discovery decades later they had been fed radioactive oatmeal in chilly warfare experiments -- and the following felony conflict that eventually gained them a multimillion-dollar settlement.

Meticulously researched via college documents, formerly sealed papers, and interviews with the surviving kingdom Boys, this deft exposé is a strong reminder of the terrifying outcomes of unchecked energy in addition to an inspiring testomony to the power of the human spirit.

The Hidden History of America at War: Untold Tales from Yorktown to Fallujah (Don't Know Much About)

Multi-million-copy bestselling historian Kenneth C. Davis units his points of interest on warfare tales within the Hidden historical past of the United States at conflict. In prose that might remind you of "the top instructor you ever had" (People Magazine), Davis brings to existence six emblematic battles, revealing untold stories that span our nation's historical past, from the innovative battle to Iraq.

War on the Run: The Epic Story of Robert Rogers and the Conquest of America’s First Frontier

Hailed because the father of today’s elite detailed forces, Robert Rogers was once not just a wasteland warrior yet North America’s first noteworthy playwright and genuine superstar. In a riveting biography, John F. Ross reconstructs the extreme achievements of this fearless and encouraging chief whose exploits within the early New England wasteland learn like these of an motion hero and whose leading edge ideas of unconventional battle are nonetheless used today

They have been a bunch of handpicked infantrymen selected for his or her backwoods savvy, braveness, and persistence. Led through a tender captain whose bold made him a hero on continents, Rogers’s Rangers earned a perilous reputation between their such a lot bold French and Indian enemies for his or her skill to seem at any place at any time, burst out of the wooded area with overwhelming strength, and vanish simply as fast. This speedy, elusive, intelligence-gathering strike strength used to be the brainchild of Robert Rogers, a uniquely American form of conflict maker able to motivating a brand new breed of warrior.

The baby of marginalized Scots-Irish immigrants, Robert Rogers discovered to outlive in New England’s darkish and lethal forests, greedy, as did few others, new international required new different types of war. Marrying ecu expertise to the stealth and flexibility he saw in local warriors, Rogers educated and led an unorthodox unit of eco-friendly provincials, uncooked woodsmen, farmers, and Indian scouts on “impossible” missions which are nonetheless the stuff of soldiers’ legend. masking heartbreaking distances in the back of enemy traces, they traversed the barren region in whaleboats and snowshoes, slept with no hearth or adequate nutrients in below-freezing temperatures, and persevered hardships that might spoil traditional males.

With their novel strategies and fierceesprit de corps, the Rangers laid the foundation for the colonial approach later utilized in the struggle of Independence. by no means have the stakes of a continent hung within the fingers of so few males. Rogers may finally write seminal books whose imaginative and prescient of a unified continent might effect Thomas Jefferson and encourage the Lewis and Clark excursion.

InWar at the Run, John F. Ross vividly re-creates Rogers’s lifestyles and his marvelous battles, having traveled over a lot of Rogers’s crusade kingdom. He provides with breathtaking immediacy and painstaking accuracy a guy and an period whose huge, immense impression on the United States has been too little favored.

Extra info for American Character: A History of the Epic Struggle Between Individual Liberty and the Common Good

Example text

The door in the lower left of the photograph was used as an entryway for those hoping to be cast as extras.

DeMille, and Albert Kaufman. There was a family connection between four of the five men. Samuel Goldfish, who was to achieve greater Hollywood fame after a name change to Goldwyn, was Jesse Lasky’s brother-in-law. Kaufman, who was the manager of Zukor’s theaters, was Zukor’s brother-in-law. 35 Famous Players–Lasky Studios, 1916 and 1920. After the merger that created the Famous Players–Lasky Corporation, Zukor continued to make most of his films on the East Coast at this studio on Fifty-sixth Street in Manhattan (above).

45 Brunton Studios, 1920s. In the aerial photograph above, Brunton Studios can be seen looking to the north. The main studio was located on the east side of the property, with wooden backlots to the west. To the north is what is now called the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Across the street to the southeast is what was then known as Clune Studios, which occupied Zukor’s old Famous Players Fiction Studios. Today, the property is known as Raleigh Studios. Near the center of the photograph is the white, glass-walled Stage 3, which is seen in the photograph below.

Download PDF sample

Rated 4.46 of 5 – based on 18 votes