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End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the…
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End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of… (original: 2019; edição: 2020)

de Greg Grandin (Autor)

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1705122,749 (4.05)6
"From a Pulitzer Prize finalist, a new and eye-opening interpretation of the meaning of the frontier, from early westward expansion to Trump's border wall. Ever since this nation's inception, the idea of an open and ever-expanding frontier has been central to American identity. Symbolizing a future of endless promise, it was the foundation of the United States' belief in itself as an exceptional nation--democratic, individualistic, forward-looking. Today, though, America has a new symbol: the border wall. In The End of the Myth, acclaimed historian Greg Grandin explores the meaning of the frontier throughout the full sweep of U.S. history--from the American Revolution to the War of 1898, the New Deal to the election of 2016. For centuries, he shows, America's constant expansion--fighting wars and opening markets--served as a "gate of escape," helping to deflect domestic political and economic conflicts outward. But this deflection meant that the country's problems, from racism to inequality, were never confronted directly. And now, the combined catastrophe of the 2008 financial meltdown and our unwinnable wars in the Middle East have slammed this gate shut, bringing political passions that had long been directed elsewhere back home. It is this new reality, Grandin says, that explains the rise of reactionary populism and racist nationalism, the extreme anger and polarization that catapulted Trump to the presidency. The border wall may or may not be built, but it will survive as a rallying point, an allegorical tombstone marking the end of American exceptionalism"--… (mais)
Membro:comptron
Título:End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America
Autores:Greg Grandin (Autor)
Informação:Metropolitan (2020), 384 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
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The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America de Greg Grandin (2019)

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Exibindo 5 de 5
A really well researched and written look at American History from Revolutionary times till the near present with all its warts. A major theme is how racism unified and fueled our countries' westward expansion over the years as well as our long tradition of wars against countries with dark skinned people after the West was fully settled. Major emphasis was placed on the lasting writings of historical author Frederick Jackson Turner. A must read for any true historian. ( )
  muddyboy | Mar 14, 2021 |
It's hard to overstate how much has changed in the world since I started reading this book in September. Right now it can feel like we're living in a new reality every day, yet Grandin's argument--that America has, over the years, resolved its many contradictions by projecting them outward towards the frontier, the closure of which has sent the country into a violent, reactionary, racist spiral--has only become more and more relevant. If that's not a reason to read this book then I don't know what is.
  trotta | Mar 4, 2021 |
Greg Grandin's Pulitzer Prize winning The End of the Myth is a masterful history, and is worthy of every American's attention.

Even before the United States was founded the original British colonies had undefined western borders. When the colonies went to war with Britain and the new nation was formed, it began with internal tensions and dichotomies - the largest dichotomy being the proclamations both that all men are created equal, and that one man could own another.

Grandin's book shows how the open frontier acted as a safety valve to externalize the internal conflicts of the nation outward to the frontier. Once the frontier finally ended at the border those conflicts have turned inward on America and are the basis for the tensions in the country today.

I have to say that I thought I understood American history before reading this book, but it is clear to me now that I did not. The War with Mexico, and the later Spanish-American war always seemed like such small pieces of the story. But in Grandin's telling they loom much larger, and help explain some of the Trumpian tensions in America today.

This book is a must read for anyone who has struggled to understand where Trumpism has come from, or who hopes it will "just go away" now that Trump is out of office. Highly recommended. ( )
  stevrbee | Feb 7, 2021 |
When I first heard about this book it took a little while for me to pick it up, as I feel a little burnt out on immigration and issues of the border wall with Mexico. Since Trump's election there's news about this every week much of it depressing. I eventually did get around to it, and am glad I did!

The title of the book is a little misleading in its vagueness. The key word here is "frontier."

The book begins with the conquest of the Americas. Apparently one contributing factor to the Revolutionary War was the Crown's prohibition on Westward Expansion past the Allegheny mountains. Treaties had left Native Americans with the vast majority of America, and the French and Spanish with other significant portions. The Crown thought the Colonies where enough, and didn't want to continue the expansionary trend in this region.

A little after these revelations, Gradin employs the simile of the frontier being like a "safety value," which ensured that America could remain a place without significant internal tensions (between different races, between different religions, between different social strata). This simile was also used in the South—white men could rape black women at will so that the white southern women could remain pristine and cultured. This concept of frontier as safety valve is the myth to which the title refers.

I've been hearing the term "genocide" used to describe Anglo relations with Native Americans for quite some time now. Yet, for the first time, Grandin has left me wondering about the ways in which our relations with Native Americans informed the Third Reich's genocide of the Jews. The two extermination campaigns only differ in degree of technological efficiency, not in quality nor in ethic. This is a thought worth pondering.

Grandin opens with the question—is Trump's racism, nationalism, and misogyny endemic and descriptive of the American spirit, or its antithesis? This question is overly polarizing; by the end of the book, it is clear that the answer is both. Globalism and nationalism have been two dominant trends in US history, and both are accurate descriptors to the arc we've taken.

Ta-Nehisi Coates posits that racism is essential and foundational to American culture. I am neither convinced nor compelled by Coates' fatalistic and pessimistic conclusions. But I have been swayed by Grandin's narrative; I think I would agree that one aspect of the essence of the American spirit is racism. I'm not sure yet where to go from here.

As an aside—as Naomi Klein has also been calling out recently, the environmentalist movement has always had multiple factions, including an anti-human faction and a racist faction. I am an environmentalist, and I would not identify as being part of either of these camps. That said, I can see how "race realist" narrative sometimes converge with environmental rhetoric. ( )
  willszal | Nov 17, 2019 |
Intellectual history of the idea of the frontier and the collapse of American self-confidence in the infinite extensibility of American power. I didn’t learn much from it. ( )
1 vote rivkat | Aug 13, 2019 |
Exibindo 5 de 5
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Greg Grandinautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Ward, Jeffrey L.Mapsautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Too, Kelly S.Designerautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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To live past the end of your myth is a perilous thing.
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Poetry was the language of the frontier, and the historian Frederick Jackson Turner was among its greatest laureates.
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"From a Pulitzer Prize finalist, a new and eye-opening interpretation of the meaning of the frontier, from early westward expansion to Trump's border wall. Ever since this nation's inception, the idea of an open and ever-expanding frontier has been central to American identity. Symbolizing a future of endless promise, it was the foundation of the United States' belief in itself as an exceptional nation--democratic, individualistic, forward-looking. Today, though, America has a new symbol: the border wall. In The End of the Myth, acclaimed historian Greg Grandin explores the meaning of the frontier throughout the full sweep of U.S. history--from the American Revolution to the War of 1898, the New Deal to the election of 2016. For centuries, he shows, America's constant expansion--fighting wars and opening markets--served as a "gate of escape," helping to deflect domestic political and economic conflicts outward. But this deflection meant that the country's problems, from racism to inequality, were never confronted directly. And now, the combined catastrophe of the 2008 financial meltdown and our unwinnable wars in the Middle East have slammed this gate shut, bringing political passions that had long been directed elsewhere back home. It is this new reality, Grandin says, that explains the rise of reactionary populism and racist nationalism, the extreme anger and polarization that catapulted Trump to the presidency. The border wall may or may not be built, but it will survive as a rallying point, an allegorical tombstone marking the end of American exceptionalism"--

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