Illiberal America

A History

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Pub Date 19 Mar 2024 | Archive Date 29 Feb 2024

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Description

A leading historian reframes the American past by uncovering a powerful illiberalism as deep-seated and motivating as the founding ideals.

If the 2017 Charlottesville protests and the January 6 Capitol assault made you think “That’s not us,” think again: in this stunning American history, Steven Hahn shows recurring episodes of racial, religious, and ethnic expulsion, and a localism suspicious of outsiders, including the federal government. Inspiring these events is an illiberalism in which community values override individual rights and hierarchy is superior to democracy.

Driven by popular movements, the courts, and legislation, illiberalism has long been embedded in everyday life. Before the Civil War, midwestern free states invoked community safety to enact laws denying Black people their civil rights. Progressive reformers such as Margaret Sanger harnessed theories of racial inequality and eugenics to advocate birth control in ethnic communities. And one enduring outcome of the 1960s was the illiberalism that George Wallace made politically mainstream. Here is America’s unexceptional history, its founding ideals in ongoing tension with illiberal beliefs.

About the Author: Steven Hahn, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian of modern political and social movements, is the author of A Nation Under Our Feet and A Nation Without Borders. He teaches at NYU.

A leading historian reframes the American past by uncovering a powerful illiberalism as deep-seated and motivating as the founding ideals.

If the 2017 Charlottesville protests and the January 6...


Available Editions

EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9780393635928
PRICE $35.00 (USD)
PAGES 544

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