American Exceptionalism: A Double-edged Sword

Front Cover
W. W. Norton & Company, 1997 - History - 352 pages
7 Reviews
"American values are quite complex," writes Seymour Martin Lipset, "particularly because of paradoxes within our culture that permit pernicious and beneficial social phenomena to arise simultaneously from the same basic beliefs."

Born out of revolution, the United States has always considered itself an exceptional country of citizens unified by an allegiance to a common set of ideals, individualism, anti-statism, populism, and egalitarianism. This ideology, Professor Lipset observes, defines the limits of political debate in the United States and shapes our society.

American Exceptionalism explains why socialism has never taken hold in the United States, why Americans are resistant to absolute quotas as a way to integrate blacks and other minorities, and why American religion and foreign policy have a moralistic, crusading streak.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
2
4 stars
0
3 stars
3
2 stars
1
1 star
1

Review: American Exceptionalism: A Double-Edged Sword

User Review  - Claire Leavitt - Goodreads

Assigning this for my intro-to-American-politics this summer. Readable, fascinating. Read full review

Review: American Exceptionalism: A Double-Edged Sword

User Review  - Eric - Goodreads

The good and bad sides of liberty and individualism for the American body politic Read full review

Contents

Contents
11
Introduction
17
Ideology Politics and Deviance
31
Economy Religion and Welfare
53
Socialism and Unionism in the United States and Canada
77
Blacks and Whites
113
American ExceptionalismJapanese Uniqueness
211
A DoubleEdged Sword
267
Individualism and Group Obligation
293
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1997)

Seymour Martin Lipset: March 18, 1922 - December 31, 2006 American political theorist and sociologist, Seymour Martin Lipset, was born in New York City on March 18, 1922, and educated at City College of New York and Columbia University. Lipset taught at a number of universities, including the University of Toronto, Columbia University, the University of California at Berkeley, Harvard University, and Stanford University. A senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, he was also a member of the International Society of Political Psychology, the American Political Science Association, and the American Academy of Science. Among Lipset's many works are "Political Man: The Social Bases of Politics" (1960), "Class, Status, and Power" (1953), and "Revolution and Counterrevolution" (1968). He also contributed articles to a number of magazines, including The New Republic, Encounter, and Commentary. Lipset has received a number of awards for his work, including the MacIver Award in 1962, the Gunnar Myrdal Prize in 1970, and the Townsend Harris Medal in 1971. Lipset died on December 31, 2006, as a result of complications following a stroke. He was 84.

Bibliographic information