The American Future: A History

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-06-15
  • Publisher: Harpercollins

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Nothing that has happened since the inauguration of Barack Obama has dispelled the sense that the election of 2008 was the kind of moment of truth in American politics and history that seldom comes along. Simon Schama, the acclaimed historian and award-winning critic, followed the campaign, but unlike other accounts, "The American Future" looks at that contemporary moment through the window of time. In four areas critical to the fate of the American republic--war; the place of religion in politics and culture; immigration; and the tenacious grip of expectations of permanent abundance--Schama looks back to see more clearly into the future. Full of lost insights and spellbinding tales, discovering men and women who have been forgotten in the big record, "The American Future" showcases Schama's unique gift of storytelling, ensuring these eloquent voices will be heard again as the nation moves forward into an uncertain moment in its history.

Author Biography

Simon Schama is a professor of art history and history at Columbia University, and is the author of numerous award-winning books; Rough Crossings, his history of the American Revolution, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for General Nonfiction. He is a cultural essayist for the New Yorker and has written and presented more than thirty documentaries for the BBC, PBS, and the History Channel, including The Power of Art, which won the 2007 International Emmy for Best Arts Programming, and The American Future: A History, now available on DVD.

Table of Contents

Prologuep. 1
American War
Veterans Day: II November 2007p. 25
The fight for the citadel: soldiering and the Founding Fathersp. 33
The Drop Zone Cafe, San Antonio, Texas, 3 March 2008p. 55
The trials of the Romanp. 59
Taking sidesp. 70
Father and sonp. 78
The quartermaster general, 1861-64p. 85
John Rodgers Meigs, the Shenandoah Valley, summer and fall 1864p. 100
Montgomery Meigs and Louisa Rodgers Meigs, October 1864-December 1865p. 103
Washington, D.C., February 2008p. 108
Hamilton resurrexitp. 111
American war: Rohrbach-lès-Bitche, the Maginot Line near Metz, 10 December 1944p. 123
American Fervor
Atlantic City, August 1964p. 130
Savedp. 138
Raven, Virginia, 2008p. 148
Providencep. 152
"Whereas Almighty God hath created the mind free…"p. 161
National Sinp. 176
Jarena Leep. 186
The sovereignty of the voicep. 195
Easter Sunday, 2008, Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlantap. 206
Great white hopes?p. 210
Ruleville, Mississippi, 31 August 1962p. 213
What is An American?
Twilight, Downing Street, June 2008p. 219
Citizen Heartbreak: France, August 1794p. 223
The German threatp. 238
The Chicken Club, south Texas, July 2008p. 244
The immigrant problem in Texasp. 246
The German threat-againp. 263
The importance of Fred Beep. 268
Grace under pressurep. 283
Jefferson's Koranp. 295
American Plenty
Running on empty?p. 303
Strawberry fields, 1775p. 312
White Path, 1801-23p. 316
1893p. 330
The church of irrigationp. 336
Ghost housep. 344
Roll up that lawnp. 351
Windmillsp. 357
Epilogue: The Impotent Angel?p. 363
Bibliographyp. 371
Acknowledgmentsp. 379
Picture Acknowledgmentsp. 383
Indexp. 385
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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