By Rick Halpern
The concept that American old improvement isn't the same as that of different international locations is an outdated one, but it indicates no signal of wasting its emotive strength. 'Exceptionalism' keeps to excite, beguile, and frustrate scholars of the yankee earlier. The essays during this quantity discover the ways that the method of sophistication formation within the usa will be stated to be detailed. Focusing upon the influence of liberal political inspiration, race and immigration, and the function of the war-time kingdom, they problem particularist and nation-centred modes of rationalization. evaluating American ancient improvement with Italian, South African, and Australian examples, the essays reinvigorate a drained debate.
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Additional info for American Exceptionalism?: US Working-Class Formation in an International Context
Europe regards her like a stranger, and England hath given her warning to depart. O! receive the fugitive, and prepare in time an asylum for mankind. But even the notion of America as refuge ran soon enough to its inversion in universalism. Even it presumed that others wanted the liberty that America had, though they were inept at achieving it. Even it refused to countenance the possibility that others actually wanted lifeways and limits that America did not offer. 19 Still other perplexities plagued other exceptionalists.
Rather than conduct what might be called variable-specific exercises that search for key factors (mobility, prosperity, the frontier, ethnic diversity, state repression and so on), I argue in favour of a relational approach focusing on large-scale processes not unique to the United States but which have been configured Working-Class Formation and American Exceptionalism 41 singularly as a result of their patterns of interaction with the unusual qualities of the country's semi-liberal regime . TRANSCENDING EXCEPTIONALISM, RETHINKING LIBERALISM It is hard to think of a text more influential yet more maligned than Hartz's; or, indeed, one more deserving of appreciation and deprecation.
The definition of exceptionalism that he advances near the outset - 'the notion that the United States has had a unique destiny and history' - is itself too vague to be of much use. But before he settles on it - before he even finishes the sentence in which he propounds it - he seems to sense that it carries him further than he cares to go. 38 If it is hard to think of a society on the face of the earth that would fail to meet this 'more modest' standard, that is doubtless a consummation that Kammen finds congenial.
American Exceptionalism?: US Working-Class Formation in an International Context by Rick Halpern