To Die For: The Paradox of American Patriotism / Edition 1

To Die For: The Paradox of American Patriotism / Edition 1

by Cecilia Elizabeth O'Leary
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

ISBN-10: 0691070520

ISBN-13: 9780691070520

Pub. Date: 09/25/2000

Publisher: Princeton University Press

July Fourth, "The Star-Spangled Banner," Memorial Day, and the pledge of allegiance are typically thought of as timeless and consensual representations of a national, American culture. In fact, as Cecilia O'Leary shows, most trappings of the nation's icons were modern inventions that were deeply and bitterly contested. While the Civil War determined the survival of

Overview

July Fourth, "The Star-Spangled Banner," Memorial Day, and the pledge of allegiance are typically thought of as timeless and consensual representations of a national, American culture. In fact, as Cecilia O'Leary shows, most trappings of the nation's icons were modern inventions that were deeply and bitterly contested. While the Civil War determined the survival of the Union, what it meant to be a loyal American remained an open question as the struggle to make a nation moved off of the battlefields and into cultural and political terrain.

Drawing upon a wide variety of original sources, O'Leary's interdisciplinary study explores the conflict over what events and icons would be inscribed into national memory, what traditions would be invented to establish continuity with a "suitable past," who would be exemplified as national heroes, and whether ethnic, regional, and other identities could coexist with loyalty to the nation. This book traces the origins, development, and consolidation of patriotic cultures in the United States from the latter half of the nineteenth century up to World War I, a period in which the country emerged as a modern nation-state. Until patriotism became a government-dominated affair in the twentieth century, culture wars raged throughout civil society over who had the authority to speak for the nation: Black Americans, women's organizations, workers, immigrants, and activists all spoke out and deeply influenced America's public life. Not until World War I, when the government joined forces with right-wing organizations and vigilante groups, did a racially exclusive, culturally conformist, militaristic patriotism finally triumph, albeit temporarily, over more progressive, egalitarian visions.

As O'Leary suggests, the paradox of American patriotism remains with us. Are nationalism and democratic forms of citizenship compatible? What binds a nation so divided by regions, languages, ethnicity, racism, gender, and class? The most thought-provoking question of this complex book is, Who gets to claim the American flag and determine the meanings of the republic for which it stands?

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691070520
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
09/25/2000
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
366
Product dimensions:
6.17(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.82(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgements
Ch. 1"To Make a Nation"3
Ch. 2"Dyed in the Blood of Our Forefathers": Patriotic Culture before the Civil War10
Ch. 3"When Johnny Comes Marching Home": The Emergence of the Grand Army of the Republic29
Ch. 4"Living History": Crafting Patriotic Culture within a Divided Nation49
Ch. 5"Oh, My Sisters!": Shifting Relations of Gender and Race70
Ch. 6"Mothers Train the Masses - Statesmen Lead the Few": Women's Place in Shaping the Nation91
Ch. 7"One Country, One Flag, One People, One Destiny": Regions, Race, and Nationhood110
Ch. 8"Blood Brotherhood": The Racialization of Patriotism129
Ch. 9"I Pledge Allegiance...": Mobilizing the Nation's Youth150
Ch. 10"The Great Fusing Furnace": Americanization in the Public Schools172
Ch. 11"Clasping Hands over the Bloody Divide": National Memory, Racism, and Amnesia194
Ch. 12"My Country Right or Wrong": World War I and the Paradox of American Patriotism220
Notes247
Bibliography313
Index343

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >