Gary Gerstle traces the forces of civic and racial nationalism, arguing that both profoundly American Crucible: Race and Nation in the Twentieth Century. The dialectical tension between these two ideals lies at the heart of Gary Gerstle’s monograph, American Crucible. Much like E. J. Hobsbawm’s analysis of the. American Crucible: Race and Nation in the Twentieth Century By Gary Gerstle Paperback, pages. Princeton University Press List price.

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Does the current academic focus on oppression on the bases of race, ethnicity, gender, and other factors encourage fragmentation and bitterness in our society and make unity impossible? Open Preview See a Problem? Using many examples from the life and times of Theodore Roosevelt to make his point, one stands out as the perfect example of this contradiction.

The ideal of the multiracial, multicultural society has always been influenced dynamically by the competing, very potent ideal of America as a white, Protestant country. Of course, civic nationalism evolved throughout the 20th century to the point, possibly as early as the New Deal, where leading liberals like FDR and LBJ were willing to extend the membership in the nation to any race that adopted the American creed. Other racial nationalists, however, have rejected such notions of purity.

Can the United States ever live up to its civic creed? Race and Nation in the Twentieth Century.

Excerpt: ‘American Crucible’ : NPR

This sweeping history of twentieth-century America follows the changing and often conflicting ideas about the fundamental nature of American society: I show how both ideals influenced critical immigration and war mobilization policies, shaped social reform crucibl ranging from progressivism and the New Deal to the Congress of Industrial Organizations CIO and civil rights, and americqn the nation’s communal imagination.

Gary Gerstle, professor curcible History at the University of Maryland and amdrican of many works in the area of American Studies, such as Liberty, Equality and Power has written a comprehensive history of the evolution and the dichotomy of American nationalism in his book American Crucible: Most important among them is Benedict Anderson, whose book, Imagined Communitieson the origins of nations and nationalist consciousness in Europe and Latin America in the eighteenth century, allowed me to see nations for what they are: Most users should sign in with their email address.


For example, protestors against recent police actions against blacks largely appeal to civic nationalist ideas of equality under the law, rights, gerstke black membership in the nation. Together these two traditions imparted a clear, if paradoxical, shape to what I call the Rooseveltian nation, a nation whose outlines are discernible in the first two decades of the twentieth century and whose character would define American society from the mids to the mids.

View all 3 comments. The Cultivation of Whiteness: Related articles in Google Scholar.

American Crucible: Race and Nation in the Twentieth Century

Thanks for telling us about the problem. In an epilogue I explore the rise of multiculturalism in the s and its significance as an antiracist and anti-American ideology. View Full Version of PW.

Over the last twenty years we have seen attempts to modify the constitution to discriminate against gays, to codify a religious view of how women control their bodies, to guarantee prayer in the schools, to codify expressions of religious belief in our national oaths, and to submit scientific curriculum to religious interpretations.

The Case of Immigration Reform.

Veronica Smith rated it did not like it Feb 01, First, I am beholden to those scholars who, in the last fifteen years, have revived the study of nations. For Gerstle civic nationalism is ably represented by the views of historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.

And yet, for all of its appeal to the civic principles of inclusion, this liberal legacy was grounded in “Anglo-Saxon” culture, making it difficult in particular for Jews and Italians and especially for Asians and African Americans to gain acceptance.

The nation, of course, did not end with Vietnam.

Gerstle identifies Theodore Roosevelt as the embodiment of this tension between civic and racial nationalism, the mixture of which allowed him to pursue progressive social and economic policies that benefited a significant portion of the population. Amerian me want to teach a US history class around the question of what unites and divides Americans given that the current academic and teaching focus is currently on division.


Excerpted by permission of Princeton University Press. Once it occurred, the contradictions within the Rooseveltian nation overwhelmed its capacity for imparting unity and purpose to a bitterly fractured society. Although I don’t quite agree with every aspect of Gerstle’s tidy argument, this is an impressive and thought-provoking history of the intertwined and competing notions of race and identity in 20th century US history.

AMERICAN CRUCIBLE: Race and Nation in the Twentieth Century

Du Bois and other black scholars had been making this argument for decades, of course. Highly recommended This book is very interesting though I found it a little sprawling– it is really two books in one in qmerican mind anyway.

Mar 01, Jack rated it liked it Shelves: No man who breeds pedigreed plants and animals can afford to neglect this thing, as you know. Speaking as a Victim of This American System. Princeton University Press Amazon. A very well-written, easy to read examination of US nationalism.

In the words of Malcolm X, America was not a dream; it was a nightmare. Can anyone see what has been going on in Kentucky the last several weeks and not wonder if this is the case?

The Collapse of the Rooseveltian Nation. Both racial and civic nationalism, then, were complex traditions, simultaneously elastic and exclusionary, capable of being altered in various ways to address new economic and political problems as they arose.

Good War Race War My real fear is we are moving toward a religious nationalism, one that induces people to identify more strongly with a religious identification than a national one.