Reconstructing America: The Symbol of America in Modern Thought

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9780300084535: Reconstructing America: The Symbol of America in Modern Thought
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For too many people, America has become the primary symbol of all that is grotesque, deadening, and oppressive. It is time, says James Ceaser in this provocative book, to take America back, to reaffirm confidence in our principles, and to remind ourselves that the real America-as opposed to the symbolic one-has forged a system of liberal democratic government that has shaped the destiny of the modern world. "A splendid, . . . important book."-Adam Wolfson, Wall Street Journal "A fascinating compendium of misconceptions about America, a catalog of expressions of European anxiety and paranoia that may be followed down to the historical present. . . . Ceaser's knowledge of European political traditions is prodigious, and he puts it to excellent use. . . . Like all good histories, his is motivated by an impassioned concern for our precarious present."-Richard Wolin, The New Republic "An important book . . . about the European image of the United States, showing the ways in which philosophers of both left and right have constructed a symbolic America often bearing little resemblance to the place itself. [This] wryly written . . . book is a timely corrective to loose thought in the academy and a candid appeal to reason."-John S. Gardner, The Weekly Standard "Gracefully written and provocative."-Solomon L. Wisenberg, Wilson Quarterly

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