Item Details

Exceptional America: What Divides Americans From the World and From Each Other

Mugambi Jouet
Format
Book
Published
Oakland, California : University of California Press, [2017]
Language
English
Variant Title
What separates Americans from the world and from each other
ISBN
9780520293298, 0520293290, 9780520966468
Summary
"Why does a country built on the concept of liberty have the highest incarceration rate in the world? How could the first Western nation to elect a person of color as its leader suffer from institutional racism? How does Christian fundamentalism coexist with gay marriage in the American imagination? In essence, what makes the United States exceptional? In this provocative exploration of American exceptionalism, Mugambi Jouet explores why Americans are far more divided than other Westerners over basic issues--including wealth inequality, health care, climate change, evolution, the literal truth of the Bible, abortion, gay rights, gun control, mass incarceration, and war. Drawing inspiration from Alexis de Tocqueville, Jouet, raised in Paris by a French mother and a Kenyan father, wields his multicultural sensibility to parse the ways in which the intense polarization of U.S. conservatives and liberals has become a key dimension of American exceptionalism--an idea widely misunderstood to mean American superiority. Instead, Jouet contends that exceptionalism, once a source of strength, may now spell decline, as unique features of U.S. history, politics, law, culture, religion, and race relations foster grave conflicts and injustices. This book offers a brilliant dissection of the American soul, in all of its outsize, clashing, and striking manifestations"--Provided by publisher.
Contents
  • One nation, divisible
  • From the American Enlightenment to anti-intellectualism
  • The exceptional influence of Christian fundamentalism
  • The culture wars of faith, sex, and gender
  • Between democracy and plutocracy
  • Millions standing against their own economic interest
  • Mass incarceration, executions, and gun violence in "the land of the free"
  • America and the world.
Description
x, 360 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Notes
Includes bibliographical references (pages 277-341) and index.
Technical Details
  • Access in Virgo Classic

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