9780691153001

The Whites of Their Eyes

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780691153001

  • ISBN10:

    0691153000

  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-08-08
  • Publisher: Princeton Univ Pr

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Summary

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 Yorkerstaff writer, offers a careful and concerned 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--a history of the Revolution, from the archives. 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 Eyesreveals 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. In a new afterword, Lepore addresses both the recent shift in Tea Party rhetoric from the Revolution to the Constitution and the diminished role of scholars as political commentators over the last half century of public debate.

Author Biography

Jill Lepore is the David Woods Kemper '41 Professor of American History at Harvard University and a staff writer at the New Yorker. Her books include New York Burning, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; and The Name of War, winner of the Bancroft Prize.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. ix
Prologue Party Like It's 1773p. 1
Ye Olde Mediap. 20
The Book of Agesp. 43
How to Commit Revolutionp. 70
The Past upon Its Thronep. 98
Your Superexcellent Agep. 126
Epilogue Revering Americap. 152
Afterword to the Paperback Editionp. 167
Acknowledgmentsp. 177
Notesp. 179
Indexp. 209
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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