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Who Are We: The Challenges to America's National Identity

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Who Are We: The Challenges to America's National Identity Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In his seminal work The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, Samuel Huntington argued provocatively and presciently that with the end of the cold war, "civilizations" were replacing ideologies as the new fault lines in international politics.

His astute analysis has proven correct. Now Professor Huntington turns his attention from international affairs to our domestic cultural rifts as he examines the impact other civilizations and their values are having on our own country.

America was founded by British settlers who brought with them a distinct culture including the English language, Protestant values, individualism, religious commitment, and respect for law. The waves of immigrants that later came to the United States gradually accepted these values and assimilated into America's Anglo-Protestant culture. More recently, however, national identity has been eroded by the problems of assimilating massive numbers of primarily Hispanic

immigrants, bilingualism, multiculturalism, the devaluation of citizenship, and the "denationalization" of American elites.

September 11 brought a revival of American patriotism and a renewal of American identity. But already there are signs that this revival is

fading, even though in the post-September 11 world, Americans face unprecedented challenges to our security.

Who Are We? shows the need for us to reassert the core values that make us Americans. Nothing less than our national identity is at stake.

Once again Samuel Huntington has written an important book that is certain to provoke a lively debate and to shape our national conversation about who we are.\

Review:

"In his seminal The Clash of Civilizations, Huntington anticipated the United States' battle with militant Islam. Here he turns his laser on America — or, rather, America as he thinks it ought to be. Despite its clinical tone, this book is an aggressive polemic whose central argument — that America, at heart, has been and in many ways should remain a Christian, Anglocentric country — wouldn't be out of place on many a conservative radio station. The author seeks at length to prove that the American Creed, which he defines as a Protestant-influenced ideology modeled on the British system, was the founders' original intent and remains America's best course. He then turns to many of the usual subjects — the imperiled primacy of English, the dangers of immigration and multiculturalism — to make his case. He argues that a growing divide between the patriotic working class and 'denationalized elites' will lead to internal fissures. Where those findings can lead is another question. For instance, he predicts, and also expresses sympathy for, a movement of white nativism that 'does not advocate white racial supremacy,' yet he believes that 'mixing of races and hence culture is the road to national degeneration.' The book is also marred by a number of self-contradictions; for example, Huntington draws heavily on the founders to make a nationalist case even as he acknowledges that notions of Americanism (as opposed to allegiances to individual states) became popular only after the Civil War. Exhaustively researched and occasionally inspired, this polemic remains more often filled with colorless and ineffectual writing that will provide evidence for the converted but do little to persuade the doubters. (May 27)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Book News Annotation:

In The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (1998), Huntington (international and area studies, Harvard U.) argued that civilizations were replacing ideologies in post-Cold War politics. Pointing out that how Americans define themselves determines our role in the world (national/imperial/cosmopolitan), he offers a timely analysis of the historical components of US identity, challenges to it (e.g., the trend toward a bicultural nation), and the resurgence of religion nationally and globally.
Annotation 2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

In his new book, the author of The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order turns his attention from cultural divides to the cultural rifts in this country. The patriotic response to the September 11 tragedy only highlighted the loss of American identity here at home, says Huntington, and already the flag-waving has begun to subside.

About the Author

Samuel P. Huntington is the Albert J. Weatherhead III University Professor at Harvard and chairman of the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies. He is the author or editor of a dozen other books.

Table of Contents

Contents

Foreword

Part I: The Issues of Identity

Chapter 1. The Crisis of National Identity

Salience: Are the Flags Still There?

Substance: Who Are We?

The Global Identity Crisis

Prospects for American Identity

Chapter 2. Identities: National and Other

The Concept of Identity

Others and Enemies

Sources of Identity

The False Dichotomy

Part II: American Identity

Chapter 3. Components of American Identity

Change, Continuity, and Partial Truths

Settlers Before Immigrants

More Than the Creed

"No Attachment to Place"

Race and Ethnicity

Chapter 4. Anglo-Protestant Culture

The Cultural Core

"The Dissidence of Dissent"

The American Creed

Individualism and the Work Ethic

Moralism and the Reform Ethic

Chapter 5. Religion and Christianity

God, the Cross, and America

A Religious People

Protestant America and Catholicism

A Christian People

Civil Religion

Chapter 6. Emergence, Triumph, Erosion

The Fragility of Nations

Creating an American Identity

National vs. Other Identities

Nation and Patriotism Triumphant

Fading Nationalism

Part III: Challenges to American Identity

Chapter 7. Deconstructing America: The Rise of Subnational Identities

The Deconstructionist Movement

The Challenge to the Creed

The Challenge to English

The Challenge to the Core Culture

Chapter 8. Assimilation: Converts, Ampersands, and the Erosion of Citizenship

Immigration With or Without Assimilation

Assimilation: Still a Success?

Sources of Assimilation

The Immigrants

The Immigration Process

American Society: Americanization Is Un-American

Ampersands and Dual Citizenship

Citizens and Noncitizens

Alternatives to Americanization

Chapter 9. Mexican Immigration and Hispanization

The Mexican/Hispanic Challenge

Why Mexican Immigration Differs

How Mexican Assimilation Lags

Individual Assimilation and Enclave Consolidation

The Hispanization of Miami

The Hispanization of the Southwest

Chapter 10. Merging America with the World

The Changing Environment

The Search for an Enemy

Dead Souls: The Denationalization of Elites

The Patriotic Public

Diasporas, Foreign Governments, and American Politics

Part IV: Renewing American Identity

Chapter 11. Fault Lines Old and New

The Shaping Trends

The Ending of Ethnicity

Race: Constant, Blurring, Fading

White Nativism

Bifurcation: Two Languages and Two Cultures?

Unrepresentative Democracy: Elites vs. the Public

Chapter 12. Twenty-first Century America: Vulnerability, Religion, and National Identity

The Creed in an Age of Vulnerability

Americans Turn to Religion

The Global Resurgence of Religion

Militant Islam vs. America

America in the World: Cosmopolitan, Imperial, and/or National?

Notes

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780684870533
Subtitle:
The Challenges to America's National Identity
Author:
Huntington, Samuel P
Author:
Huntington, Samuel P.
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
American
Subject:
United states
Subject:
United States - General
Subject:
United States - 20th Century
Subject:
National characteristics, american
Subject:
History & Theory - General
Subject:
General Current Events
Subject:
Government - U.S. Government
Subject:
Civics & Citizenship
Subject:
Political Ideologies - Nationalism
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Series Volume:
13
Publication Date:
20040518
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
448
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.125 in 21.584 oz

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » American Studies » 80s to Present
History and Social Science » American Studies » General

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Product details 448 pages Simon & Schuster - English 9780684870533 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In his seminal The Clash of Civilizations, Huntington anticipated the United States' battle with militant Islam. Here he turns his laser on America — or, rather, America as he thinks it ought to be. Despite its clinical tone, this book is an aggressive polemic whose central argument — that America, at heart, has been and in many ways should remain a Christian, Anglocentric country — wouldn't be out of place on many a conservative radio station. The author seeks at length to prove that the American Creed, which he defines as a Protestant-influenced ideology modeled on the British system, was the founders' original intent and remains America's best course. He then turns to many of the usual subjects — the imperiled primacy of English, the dangers of immigration and multiculturalism — to make his case. He argues that a growing divide between the patriotic working class and 'denationalized elites' will lead to internal fissures. Where those findings can lead is another question. For instance, he predicts, and also expresses sympathy for, a movement of white nativism that 'does not advocate white racial supremacy,' yet he believes that 'mixing of races and hence culture is the road to national degeneration.' The book is also marred by a number of self-contradictions; for example, Huntington draws heavily on the founders to make a nationalist case even as he acknowledges that notions of Americanism (as opposed to allegiances to individual states) became popular only after the Civil War. Exhaustively researched and occasionally inspired, this polemic remains more often filled with colorless and ineffectual writing that will provide evidence for the converted but do little to persuade the doubters. (May 27)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , In his new book, the author of The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order turns his attention from cultural divides to the cultural rifts in this country. The patriotic response to the September 11 tragedy only highlighted the loss of American identity here at home, says Huntington, and already the flag-waving has begun to subside.
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