American Exceptionalism

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Edinburgh University Press, Jan 1, 1998 - Exceptionalism - 186 pages
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American Exceptionalism provides an accessible yet comprehensive historical account of one of the most important concepts underlying modern theories of American cultural identity. Deborah Madsen charts the contribution of exceptionalism to the evolution of the United States as an ideological and geographical entity from 1620 to the present day. She explains how this sense of spiritual and political destiny has shaped American culture and how it has promoted exciting counter arguments from Native American and Chicano perspectives and in the contemporary writings of authors such as Thomas Pynchon and Toni Morrison.
  

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Contents

Exceptionalism and American Cultural
16
Native American Responses to
41
Exceptionalism in the Nineteenth Century
70
Chicano Responses to the Ideology
100
Westerns and Westward Expansion
122
Contemporary Interpretations of Exceptionalism
146
El Plan Espiritual de Aztlan
168
Index
181
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About the author (1998)

Deborah L. Madsen is Professor of English at South Bank University in London.

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