American Exceptionalism: The Effects of Plenty on the American Experience

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Sussex Academic Press, Jan 1, 2002 - History - 252 pages
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In general, societies have evolved from a background in which people were many and resources were few. Thus, the creation of their ideas, values, and institutions needed to adjust to that reality. The unique history of the United States, however, makes it an exception. There, people were few but resources seemed endless. American traditions, values, ideas, and institutions of European origin had to undergo major transformations. The reality of plenty is thus the key to understanding the uniqueness of American civilization. The book is divided into five main topics: Europe dreamt and America realized the Enlightenment; American exceptionalism and the forces that maintain it; As American as Apple Pie - political violence as a constant theme in American political development; The deprivation of Indian sovereignty; and Genocide American-style. An extensive Introduction shows how each of the five main topics presented is a phase of the uniqueness of the American experience.

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This is a readable, but very academic book. Gutfeld shares the habits of many academics, in that he generally presents a history based on examination of the previous views of other academics, then ... Read full review

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About the author (2002)

Arnon Gutfeld is an associate professor of American history at Tel Aviv University. He is the author of several books, including American Democracy, The Beginnings of a Nation, and From Civil War to Cold War.

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