Download e-book for iPad: American Character: A History of the Epic Struggle Between by Colin Woodard

By Colin Woodard

The writer of American Nations examines the historical past of and ideas to the main American query: how most sensible to reconcile person liberty with the upkeep of a loose society

The fight among person rights and the great of the group as a complete has been the foundation of approximately each significant confrontation in our heritage, from the debates on the Constitutional conference and within the run as much as the Civil conflict to the fights surrounding the agendas of the Federalists, the Progressives, the recent buyers, the civil rights circulate, and the Tea celebration. In American Character, Colin Woodard strains those key strands in American politics throughout the 4 centuries of the nation’s life, from the 1st colonies throughout the Gilded Age, nice melancholy and the current day, and he explores how diverse areas of the rustic have effectively or disastrously accommodated them. The autonomous streak came across its such a lot pernicious shape within the antebellum South yet used to be balanced within the Gilded Age by way of communitarian reform efforts; the hot Deal was once an instance of a winning coalition among communitarian-minded jap elites and Southerners.

Woodard argues that conserving a liberal democracy, a society the place mass human freedom is feasible, calls for discovering a stability among keeping  individual liberty and nurturing a unfastened society. Going to both libertarian or collectivist extremes leads to tyranny. yet the place does the “sweet spot” lie within the usa, a federation of disparate local cultures that experience continuously strongly disagreed on those matters? Woodard leads readers on a riveting and revealing trip via 4 centuries of fight, experimentation, successes and screw ups to supply a solution. His traditionally proficient and pragmatic feedback on easy methods to accomplish that stability and holiday the nation’s  political impasse could be of curiosity to an individual who cares concerning the present American predicament—political, ideological, and sociological.

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Extra resources for American Character: A History of the Epic Struggle Between Individual Liberty and the Common Good

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When we think of a certain concept, or experience some new form of stim ulus, a complex network of neuronal groups switches on in synchro ny. ) Priestley puts a sprig of mint under a glass in a makes hift lab in Leeds, and a hundred clusters light up in his brain: the mem ory of his broth er Timoth y and the spiders; the smell of mint in the garden at Warrington ; the bad air bubbling over the vats at the brewery. Each time those associations are triggered together, the connection between them strengthe ns, making it more That network shape is one of the reasons why external informa - likely that they fire together as an ensemble the next time around, tion networks (the coffeehouse, the Internet) are so crucial to the whe n some new stimulus triggers part of the network.

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