This Violent Empire: The Birth of an American National Identity - Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg, Virginia (Paperback)
  • This Violent Empire: The Birth of an American National Identity - Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg, Virginia (Paperback)
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This Violent Empire: The Birth of an American National Identity - Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg, Virginia (Paperback)

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£37.95
Paperback 512 Pages / Published: 30/08/2012
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This Violent Empire traces the origins of American violence, racism, and paranoia to the founding moments of the new nation and the initial instability of Americans' national sense of self.

Fusing cultural and political analyses to create a new form of political history, Carroll Smith-Rosenberg explores the ways the founding generation, lacking a common history, governmental infrastructures, and shared culture, solidified their national sense of self by imagining a series of ""Others"" (African Americans, Native Americans, women, the propertyless) whose differences from European American male founders overshadowed the differences that divided those founders. These ""Others,"" dangerous and polluting, had to be excluded from the European American body politic. Feared, but also desired, they refused to be marginalized, incurring increasingly enraged enactments of their political and social exclusion that shaped our long history of racism, xenophobia, and sexism. Close readings of political rhetoric during the Constitutional debates reveal the genesis of this long history.

Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 9780807872710
Number of pages: 512
Weight: 748 g
Dimensions: 235 x 156 x 33 mm
Edition: New edition


MEDIA REVIEWS
Smith-Rosenberg bases her book on a wide and impressive reading of popular magazines and novels published around the time of the 1787 Constitutional Convention. . . . Takes us on a journey into the darkened mansions that crowded the troubled minds of our founders.--Register of the Kentucky Historical Society


Does not disappoint. . . . Provides important insights on the dark historical schism between the aspirations of the new republic and its racially violent reality . . . provides a context for critically analyzing the effect of that history on the current political climate.--Journal of American History


Smith-Rosenberg's analysis persuasively reveals the interplay of class, race, and gender in the construction of an important early articulation of American national identity.--Journal of Southern History


A thoughtful and exquisitely written cultural history of the early American republic. . . . [it] exhibits an impressive mastery of an expansive and diverse field of study. . . . genius.--Essays in History


Like any book worth reading, This Violent Empire provides readers plenty to contend with. . . . Let a hundred Carroll Smith-Rosenbergs bloom.--American Historical Review


An astonishing and convincing picture of the psychological fissures and multiple identities that made up the early American republic.--North Carolina Historical Review


This Violent Empire is a bold book. It offers thought-provoking and exciting interpretations throughout.--H-Net Reviews


Work[s] to counter the tenacity with which the conventional narrative of American history has for so long been sanitized and distorted. . . . Help[s] us reconsider the peculiar terms of American history.--Indiana Magazine of History


There are many fine moments. . . Smith-Rosenberg joins her research to that of others with clarifying effect.--Early American Literature


This is a big, rich, thoughtful book about an important topic. It should be widely considered among the dozen or so most important books published this year on U.S. history. Mandatory reading for advanced students of American culture. . . . Essential.--Choice


An interesting contribution to the existing historical scholarship for both the War of Independence and foundation of the American Republic.--Eras


An extraordinarily original analysis. . . . Smith-Rosenberg has unflinchingly constructed a dynamic new paradigm for understanding 'postcolonial' American society. While her work is certainly academic in tone and complex subject matter, its provocative expose of the modern American issues of racism, xenophobia, and sexism makes it essential reading for everyone seriously interested in American history.--Library Journal

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