Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story

Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story

by Wilfred M McClay


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For too long we've lacked a compact, inexpensive, authoritative, and compulsively readable book that offers American readers a clear, informative, and inspiring narrative account of their country. Such a fresh retelling of the American story is especially needed today, to shape and deepen young Americans' sense of the land they inhabit, help them to understand its roots and share in its memories, all the while equipping them for the privileges and responsibilities of citizenship in American society. The existing texts simply fail to tell that story with energy and conviction. Too often they reflect a fragmented outlook that fails to convey to American readers the grand trajectory of their own history. This state of affairs cannot continue for long without producing serious consequences. A great nation needs and deserves a great and coherent narrative, as an expression of its own self-understanding and its aspirations; and it needs to be able to convey that narrative to its young effectively. Of course, it goes without saying that such a narrative cannot be a fairy tale of the past. It will not be convincing if it is not truthful. But as Land of Hope brilliantly shows, there is no contradiction between a truthful account of the American past and an inspiring one. Readers of Land of Hope will find both in its pages.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781641771399
Publisher: Encounter Books
Publication date: 01/26/2021
Pages: 504
Sales rank: 23,303
Product dimensions: 7.50(w) x 10.30(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 - 17 Years

About the Author

Wilfred M. McClay is the G. T. and Libby Blankenship Chair in the History of Liberty at the University of Oklahoma and the Director of the Center for the History of Liberty. His book The Masterless: Self and Society in Modern America was awarded the 1995 Merle Curti Award of the Organization of American Historians for the best book in American intellectual history. Among his other books are A Student's Guide to U.S. History, Religion Returns to the Public Square: Faith and Policy in America, Figures in the Carpet: Finding the Human Person in the American Past, and Why Place Matters: Geography, Identity, and Civic Life in Modern America. He was appointed in 2002 to membership on the National Council on the Humanities, the advisory board for the National Endowment for the Humanities, and served in that capacity for eleven years. He is a member of the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission, which is planning events for the nation's 250th anniversary in 2026. He has been the recipient of fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Academy of Education. He is a graduate of St. John's College (Annapolis) and received his PhD in History from the Johns Hopkins University.

Table of Contents

Introduction One Long Story xi

Chapter 1 Beginnings: Settlement and Unsettlement 3

Chapter 2 The Shaping of British North America 14

Chapter 3 The Revolution of Self-Rule 31

Chapter 4 A War, a Nation, and a Wound 52

Chapter 5 The Experiment Begins 74

Chapter 6 From Jefferson to Jackson: The Rise of the Common Man 93

Chapter 7 The Culture of Democracy 120

Chapter 8 The Old South and Slavery 139

Chapter 9 The Gathering Storm 151

Chapter 10 The House Divides 171

Chapter 11 The Ordeal of Reconstruction 190

Chapter 12 A Nation Transformed 205

Chapter 13 Becoming a World Power 225

Chapter 14 The Progressive Era 240

Chapter 15 Woodrow Wilson and the Great War 259

Chapter 16 From Boom to Bust 276

Chapter 17 The New Deal 297

Chapter 18 The Finest Hour: World War II 316

Chapter 19 All Thoughts and Things Were Split: The Cold War 341

Chapter 20 Out of Balance: The Turbulent Sixties 365

Chapter 21 Fall and Restoration: From Nixon to Reagan 386

Chapter 22 The World since the Cold War 408

Epilogue The Shape of American Patriotism 423

Acknowledgments 431

For Additional Reading 435

Index 441

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