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The American Future

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Description

Acclaimed historian and award-winning author Simon Schama offers an essential historical perspective on the crucial 2008 presidential election and its importance for reclaiming America's original ideal.

It's not business as usual. Cultural hostilities more irreconcilable than any since the Civil War have divided America in two. In November 2008, the American people elected a new president, feeling more anxious about the future of the nation than at any time since Watergate. Our omnipotent military, the cornucopia of material comforts available, the security of our borders, and the global economy can no longer be taken for granted.

In The American Future, historian Simon Schama takes a long look at the multiple crises besetting the United States and asks how these problems look in the mirror of time. In four crucial debates—on wars, religion, race and immigration, and the relationship between natural resources and prosperity—Schama looks back to see more clearly into the future. Full of lost insights, The American Future showcases Schama's acclaimed gift for storytelling, ensuring these voices will be heard again.

Publishers Weekly Review

Feb 09, 2009 – Past performance may not guarantee future returns, but it's the best we have to go on, contends this lively meditation on American history. Looking back from the tumultuous 2008 election campaign, historian Schama (NBCC-award winner for Rough Crossings) ponders four themes in American history as they played out in the lives of historical figures: the tension between militarism and liberty in the careers of Civil War general Montgomery Meigs and his family; the progressive influence of evangelical Protestantism on abolitionist and civil rights crusaders; America's conflicted attitudes toward immigrants as seen through the adventures of 18th-century French émigré J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur; and Americans' profligate exploitation of the land and water in an elegy for the Cherokee tribe. Schama's wide-ranging narratives wander between contemporary reportage (“For a minute or two after the photo op, George Bush was left to his own devices and came my way”) and fluent, richly literate history. He's alive to irony and hypocrisy in the American story—Mexicans of the 1820s, he notes, shuddered at the uncouth Yankee immigrants flooding into Texas—but Schama is optimistic that the nation's perennial openness and complexity can see it through the storm clouds ahead.
The American Future
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: History
  • Published: May 19, 2009
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books
  • Seller: HarperCollins
  • Print Length: 432 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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