The Whites of Their Eyes: The Tea Party's Revolution and the Battle over American History

The Whites of Their Eyes: The Tea Party's Revolution and the Battle over American History

3.2 36
by Jill Lepore
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691150273

ISBN-13: 9780691150277

Pub. Date: 10/12/2010

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Americans have always put the past to political ends. The Union laid claim to the Revolution—so did the Confederacy. Civil rights leaders said they were the true sons of liberty—so did Southern segregationists. This book tells the story of the centuries-long struggle over the meaning of the nation's founding, including the battle waged by the Tea Party,

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Overview

Americans have always put the past to political ends. The Union laid claim to the Revolution—so did the Confederacy. Civil rights leaders said they were the true sons of liberty—so did Southern segregationists. This book tells the story of the centuries-long struggle over the meaning of the nation's founding, including the battle waged by the Tea Party, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and evangelical Christians to "take back America."

Jill Lepore, Harvard historian and New Yorker staff writer, offers a wry and bemused look at American history according to the far right, from the "rant heard round the world," which launched the Tea Party, to the Texas School Board's adoption of a social-studies curriculum that teaches that the United States was established as a Christian nation. Along the way, she provides rare insight into the eighteenth-century struggle for independence—the real one, that is. Lepore traces the roots of the far right's reactionary history to the bicentennial in the 1970s, when no one could agree on what story a divided nation should tell about its unruly beginnings. Behind the Tea Party's Revolution, she argues, lies a nostalgic and even heartbreaking yearning for an imagined past—a time less troubled by ambiguity, strife, and uncertainty—a yearning for an America that never was.

The Whites of Their Eyes reveals that the far right has embraced a narrative about America's founding that is not only a fable but is also, finally, a variety of fundamentalism—anti-intellectual, antihistorical, and dangerously antipluralist.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691150277
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
10/12/2010
Series:
Public Square Series
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword by Ruth O'Brien ix

Prologue Party Like It's 1773 1

Chapter 1: Ye Olde Media 20

Chapter 2: The Book of Ages 43

Chapter 3: How to Commit Revolution 70

Chapter 4: The Past upon Its Throne 98

Chapter 5: Your Superexcellent Age 126

Epilogue Revering America 152

Acknowledgments 167

Notes 169

Index 199

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The Whites of Their Eyes: The Tea Party's Revolution and the Battle over American History 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 37 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
History is messy. Historical accounts are typically subject to political/cultural bias of the beholder. Whether you are Zinn or Schweikart your historical perspective is subject to bias. Lepore's work isn't so much history as it is historiography as it compares and critiques popular belief about the American Revolution from two separate periods and their associated popular beliefs (The American Bicentennial and today's Tea Party movement). The analysis seems sound and well reasoned. I recommend this as a source of information for those who are looking for an analysis of how and why we (Americans) venerate the heroes of the Revolutionary War and how and why this veneration skews our perception of what actually occurred during the revolution. Is this a political book? Perhaps today it is. I don't think the author has gone out of her way to be political in her conclusions, but I am certain there are many out there who will criticize this book based more on its political merit rather than on the credibility of the conclusions presented. In a few years when political focus has moved beyond the Tea Party and its opponents I believe the book will still have value as a cultural snapshot of the political environment today and in 1976.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I expected much more.
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