The end of the myth: from the frontier to the border wall in the mind of America

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Publisher:
Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt and Company,
Pub. Date:
2019.
Language:
English
Description

LONGLISTED FOR THE 2019 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR NONFICTIONFrom a Pulitzer Prize finalist, a new and eye-opening interpretation of the meaning of the frontier, from early westward expansion to Trump’s border wall.Ever since this nation’s inception, the idea of an open and ever-expanding frontier has been central to American identity. Symbolizing a future of endless promise, it was the foundation of the United States’ belief in itself as an exceptional nation—democratic, individualistic, forward-looking. Today, though, America hasa new symbol: the border wall.

In The End of the Myth, acclaimed historian Greg Grandin explores the meaning of the frontier throughout the full sweep of U.S. history—from the American Revolution to the War of 1898, the New Deal to the election of 2016. For centuries, he shows, America’s constant expansion—fighting wars and opening markets—served as a “gate of escape,” helping to deflect domestic political and economic conflicts outward. But this deflection meant that the country’s problems, from racism to inequality, were never confronted directly. And now, the combined catastrophe of the 2008 financial meltdown and our unwinnable wars in the Middle East have slammed this gate shut, bringing political passions that had long been directed elsewhere back home.

It is this new reality, Grandin says, that explains the rise of reactionary populism and racist nationalism, the extreme anger and polarization that catapulted Trump to the presidency. The border wall may or may not be built, but it will survive as a rallying point, an allegorical tombstone marking the end of American exceptionalism.

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9781250179821
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Grouped Work IDab54f474-26df-c690-c9b4-36adfe9b07fa
Grouping Titleend of the myth from the frontier to the border wall in the mind of america
Grouping Authorgrandin greg
Grouping Categorybook
Last Grouping Update2020-02-25 04:45:10AM
Last Indexed2020-03-28 04:48:17AM

Solr Details

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authorGrandin, Greg, 1962-
author_displayGrandin, Greg
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display_descriptionFrederick Jackson Turner's "Frontier Thesis" argued that the expansion of settlement across a frontier of "free land" created a uniquely American form of political equality, a vibrant, forward-looking individualism. Grandin explores the effect that constant, relentless expansion had on America's domestic politics. He examines the full sweep of U.S. history-- from the American Revolution to the election of 2016-- and shows that this movement deflected domestic political and economic conflicts, but meant that the country's problems, from racism to inequality, were never confronted directly. Political passions that had long been directed elsewhere are now focused back home, and the border wall-- whether or not it is built-- may well provide an allegorical tombstone marking the end of American exceptionalism. -- adapted from introduction and jacket.
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Bib IdFormatFormat CategoryEditionLanguagePublisherPublication DatePhysical Description
ils:.b22009346BookBooksFirst edition.EnglishMetropolitan Books, Henry Holt and Company, 2019.xii, 369 pages ; 25 cm.
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subject_facetBorderlands -- United States
Exceptionalism -- United States
Frontier thesis
National characteristics, American
Nationalism -- United States -- History -- 20th century
Turner, Frederick Jackson, -- 1861-1932 -- Criticism and interpretation
title_displayThe end of the myth : from the frontier to the border wall in the mind of America
title_fullThe end of the myth : from the frontier to the border wall in the mind of America / Greg Grandin
title_shortThe end of the myth
title_subfrom the frontier to the border wall in the mind of America
topic_facetBorderlands
Criticism and interpretation
Exceptionalism
Frontier thesis
History
National characteristics, American
Nationalism
Turner, Frederick Jackson