At the time of the 2008 elections, Simon Schama takes the long view of how the United States has come to this anguished moment of truth about its own identity as a nation and its place in the world. In each of the chapters devoted to the most compelling issues facing Americans now - the projection of power ("American war"); race, immigration and the problematic promise of e pluribus unum ("American skin"); the intensity of religious conviction in public life ("American fervour"); the mystique of American land and its battles with the imperatives of profit ('American Plenty'- Schama traces the deep history of the present crisis.
Cumulatively the chapters build into a history of American exceptionalism - the 'American difference' that means so much to its people but which has led it into calamities as well as triumphs.
THE AMERICAN FUTURE : A HISTORY argues that if you want to know what is truly at stake, you need to absorb these stories and understand this history - for understanding is the condition of hope.
- Publication Date:
- 01 / 11 / 2010