Historians Take On the Biggest Legends and Lies About Our Past
In this instant New York Times bestseller, America’s top historians set the record straight on the most pernicious myths about our nation’s past.
The United States is in the grip of a crisis of bad history. Distortions of the past promoted in the conservative media have led large numbers of Americans to believe in fictions over facts, making constructive dialogue impossible and imperiling our democracy.
In Myth America, Kevin M. Kruse and Julian E. Zelizer have assembled an all-star team of fellow historians to push back against this misinformation. The contributors debunk narratives that portray the New Deal and Great Society as failures, immigrants as hostile invaders, and feminists as anti-family warriors—among numerous other partisan lies. Based on a firm foundation of historical scholarship, their findings revitalize our understanding of American history.
Replacing myths with research and reality, Myth America is essential reading amid today’s heated debates about our nation’s past.
With Essays By
Akhil Reed Amar • Kathleen Belew • Carol Anderson • Kevin Kruse • Erika Lee • Daniel Immerwahr • Elizabeth Hinton • Naomi Oreskes • Erik M. Conway • Ari Kelman • Geraldo Cadava • David A. Bell • Joshua Zeitz • Sarah Churchwell • Michael Kazin • Karen L. Cox • Eric Rauchway • Glenda Gilmore • Natalia Mehlman Petrzela • Lawrence B. Glickman • Julian E. Zelizer
Historical truths counteract America's crisis of disinformation in these illuminating and sharply written essays gathered by Princeton historians Kruse (White Flight) and Zelizer (Burning Down the House). Seeking to discredit right-wingers who have "sought to retrofit history as a rationale for present policies and programs" and debunk more widespread myths rooted in American exceptionalism, the contributors cover a wide range of issues. Erika Lee (America for Americans) explains that xenophobic immigration laws, including the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, fail to acknowledge that foreigners don't just "come" to the U.S., but are "pushed, lured, and brought" to serve America's economic interests, and notes that by the time Donald Trump announced his presidential candidacy in 2015, more Mexican immigrants were returning to Mexico than arriving in the U.S. Daniel Immerwahr (How to Hide an Empire) refutes politicians from both parties who claim that the U.S. is not an empire; Karen L. Cox (No Common Ground) reveals the links between Confederate monuments, white supremacist groups, and Jim Crow laws; and Carol Anderson (The Second) documents how claims of voter fraud have been used since Reconstruction to disenfranchise minority groups. Distinguished by its impressive roster of contributors and lucid arguments, this ought to be required reading.
A few good, no great myths
Historians talking to themselves. Save you money.
Don’t buy, very expensive for a book that doesn’t have much to it and also has some nasty curse words