The Fractious Nation?: Unity and Division in Contemporary American Life / Edition 1

The Fractious Nation?: Unity and Division in Contemporary American Life / Edition 1

by Jonathan Rieder, E. J. Dionne, John J. Dilulio
     
 


Less than a year before two planes slammed into the World Trade Center, the 2000 presidential election produced not just the blue-and-red electoral map but also revealed the fractured nation that those totemic colors represent. And from the cultural wars to immigration restriction, from the Christian right to political correctness, recent decades have witnessed… See more details below

Overview


Less than a year before two planes slammed into the World Trade Center, the 2000 presidential election produced not just the blue-and-red electoral map but also revealed the fractured nation that those totemic colors represent. And from the cultural wars to immigration restriction, from the Christian right to political correctness, recent decades have witnessed much hand-wringing on the left and the right about the fragmentation of American life. The Fractious Nation? enlists the critical intelligence of fourteen distinguished contributors who illuminate the schisms in American life and the often volatile debates they have inspired in the realms of culture, ethnic and racial pluralism, and political life.

"This collection of essays offers a bracing challenge to widely held beliefs about cultural and political fragmentation in the United States today. The Fractious Nation? may well change the debate on issues ranging from multiculturalism and race relations to governance and public philosophy."—William A. Galston, author of Liberal Purposes: Goods, Virtues, and Diversity on the Liberal State

"The virtue of this stunning collection of essays is the shrewd moderation of its authors, who explain that while we in the United States have serious social conflict, we also have the intellectual resources to address it. Most of all, The Fractious Nation, whose contributors embrace very different political approaches, reminds us that we must struggle to understand what constitutes nationhood in this difficult century."—Stanley N. Katz, professor, Woodrow Wilson School, and director of Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies, Princeton University

"With an all-star team of contributors, this volume explores the many ways that fear of fragmentation plagues the American psyche today and provides the kind of understanding that allows us to overcome such fears. The breadth of talent assembled between the covers of this book is simply awesome."—Robert Suro, author of Strangers among Us: Latino Lives in a Changing America

"This is an accessibly written and valuable collection by outstanding social scientists addressed to the broad question of whether the United States is experiencing or headed for a 'culture war.'"—R. Stephen Warner, author of New Wine in Old Wineskins: Evangelicals and Liberals in a Small-Town Church

"This is an exceptionally well-focused collection of up-to-date, analytical reflections on several of the most pressing issues in American political culture today, written by some of our most discerning scholars and journalists."—David A. Hollinger, author of Postethnic America: Beyond Multiculturalism

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520220430
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
11/06/2003
Pages:
302
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.88(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: The Fractious Nation?1
1Getting a Fix on Fragmentation: "Breakdown" as Estimation Error, Rhetorical Strategy, and Organizational Accomplishment13
2The Fetish of Difference57
3Fragments or Ties? The Defense of Difference67
4The Myth of Culture War: The Disparity between Private Opinion and Public Politics79
5America's Jews: Highly Fragmented, Insufficiently Disputatious98
6Once Again, Strangers on Our Shores117
7Expelling Newcomers: The Eclipse of Constitutional Community131
8The United States in the World Community: The Limits of National Sovereignty143
9"Who Cares Who Killed Roger Ackroyd?": Narrowing the Enduring Divisions of Race155
10The Ambivalence of Citizenship: African-American Intellectuals in Search of Community170
11Social Provision and Civic Community: Beyond Fragmentation187
12Stable Fragmentation in Multicultural America206
13The Moral Compassion of True Conservatism217
14Shaking Off the Past: Third Ways, Fourth Ways, and the Urgency of Politics225
Epilogue: Into the Unknown: Unity and Conflict after September 11, 2001248
List of Contributors279
Index283

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