By Wilfred M. Mcclay
No state in glossy background has had a extra robust experience of its personal strong point than the USA. but few americans comprehend the immensely various resources of that feel and the attention-grabbing debates that experience continually swirled round our makes an attempt to outline the USA with better precision. during this advent to the examine of yank historical past, Wilfred M. McClay invitations us to event the perennial freshness and power of this nice topic as he explores many of the enduring commitments and protracted tensions that experience made the United States what it really is. writer: Wifred M. McClayPages: ninety six, PaperbackPublisher: Christendom PressISBN: 1-882926-45-5
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Extra info for Students Guide To U.S. History: U.S. History Guide
That, too, is why it is false to say that “my history is America’s history,” and why the false premise behind such a statement is such a pernicious one. We have to resist the essentially narcissistic idea that history is valueless unless it reflects our own image back to us. One of the uses of the truly usable past lies in its intransigence and otherness, its resistance to us, its unwillingness to oblige our narcissism. Instead history, like all the liberal arts, ought to do what Plato saw as the goal of all inquiry: usher us out of the mental caverns into which we are born, and into the light of a real public world.
History to it, as an intelligent and workable way of dividing political responsibility and authority between and among levels and kinds of government, one that is far more flexible and compelling than we have given it credit for. Moreover, it is an idea whose potential applications suddenly seem far more numerous and fertile. S. Constitution looks better and better, and top-down centralization and the other alternatives less and less workable. The federative logic extends back to the imperial system of which the British North American colonies had been a part.
Our era tends to deny the intrinsic tension between equality and liberty, like a man who is simultaneously in love with two women. Such divided attention makes it difficult to do justice to either one, by blinding the ardent lover to the fact that his two amours are rivals. It is also possible that the current understanding of equality would benefit from the restoration of distinctions that the Founders and Framers would have made, and that Abraham Lincoln would have made, but that have become increasingly unavailable in our own discourse.