- $ 42.900,00
By the bestselling author of American Nations, the story of how the myth of U.S. national unity was created and fought over in the nineteenth century--a myth that continues to affect us today
Union tells the story of the struggle to create a national myth for the United States, one that could hold its rival regional cultures together and forge an American nationhood. On one hand, a small group of individuals--historians, political leaders, and novelists--fashioned and promoted the idea of America as nation that had a God-given mission to lead humanity toward freedom, equality, and self-government. But this emerging narrative was swiftly contested by another set of intellectuals and firebrands who argued that the United States was instead the homeland of the allegedly superior "Anglo-Saxon" race, upon whom divine and Darwinian favor shined.
Colin Woodard tells the story of the genesis and epic confrontations between these visions of our nation's path and purpose through the lives of the key figures who created them, a cast of characters whose personal quirks and virtues, gifts and demons shaped the destiny of millions.
Journalist Woodard (American Nations) chronicles the history of attempts to define America's national identity in this ambitious and accessible narrative. Identifying two competing visions of U.S. nationhood that emerged in the 19th and early 20th centuries, Woodard profiles U.S. Navy secretary and historian George Bancroft (1800 1891), who saw national character through the lens of a series of propositions a belief in personal freedom, equality before the law, republican governance and pro-slavery novelist and politician William Gilmore Simms (1806 1870), who advocated Anglo-Saxon ethnic and racial chauvinism. During the Civil War, Bancroft's vision won a grand victory, but Simms's ethnonationalism, according to Woodard, has continued to be a persistent component of the country's public life, embodied by the Ku Klux Klan, the social Darwinist inspired scholarship of Frederick Jackson Turner and Woodrow Wilson, and the "expanding churches of illiberalism" galvanized by the election of Donald Trump. Woodard oversells his argument by treating pride in the nation's constitutional legacy as historically discrete from pride in America's cultural heritage, but he marshals a wealth of information into a fluid narrative that manages to make abstract intellectual concepts tangible. This enlightening and character-driven account will resonate with progressive history buffs.