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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The Militarys Hidden Race War. December 4, Furthermore, the American state persists and has not literally collapsed into a series of regionally defined separatist nations.

Excerpt: ‘American Crucible’

In my experience racial identity, spawned by discrimination and racism, does not entirely divorce those adopting it from a desire for civic nationalism. Also, as I mentioned earlier, projecting what dead people would think about specific modern events was unnecessary. Byneither the civic nor racial traditions of American nationalism retained enough integrity to serve as rallying points for those who wished to put the nation back together. For anyone who views racism as an aberration from the liberal premises of the republic, this book is must reading.

In this view war offers a way for the country to test itself, and to fight for its most important values. Such disciplining was expected either to marginalize and punish the dissenters or to tame and “Americanize” them, rendering them suitable for incorporation into the national community.

The notes to my chapters record the fullness of my debt. In spite of the questions which this research inspires, many of which could not have been forseen in the time it was written, American Crucible is a fascinating study whose insightful, cruciblw account of American nationalism is sure to provoke meaningful discussion of identity in contemporary society.

Purchase Subscription prices and ordering Short-term Access To purchase short term access, please sign in to your Oxford Academic account above. Achieving inclusion did not mean that they were undermining the tradition of racial nationalism, for other racial groups, such as blacks and Zmerican, still found themselves on the outside looking in.


An interesting, but ultimately disappointing history of the myth of the melting pot in America. The advocates of this nation espoused an expansive civic nationalist creed: It influenced many writers, who, like Zangwill, often did not think to include blacks, Hispanics, or Asians in their American crucible, and it guided the racial policies of nation-building institutions, such as the military, that brought together whites of varying nationalities, religions, and regions even as they separated whites from blacks.

Gary Gerstle traces the forces of civic and racial nationali This sweeping history of cruxible America follows the changing and often conflicting ideas about the fundamental nature of American society: Matthijs rated it really liked it Jan 14, A very well-written, easy to read examination of US nationalism.

In many ways this calm interim made later conflict more inevitable, and more violent.

American Crucible: Race and Nation in the Twentieth Century

Nationalist sentiment can rest on a series of rational political principles as well as on myth, emotion, and contradiction. They regarded their quarry not just as political enemies but as the nation’s enemies who had squandered their right to be part of God’s crucible. With the integrity of the democratic principles and of the nation itself enfeebled, cruccible Vietnam War did little to bring Americans together.

drucible The Cultivation of Whiteness: Highly readable synthesis of the tensions between American freedom and white American racism.

First we must gain a sense of how the American nation of the twentieth century came to be. Gerstlw trigger was the civil rights revolution that began in the s and reached its climax in the s. The ideal of the multiracial, amerivan society has always been influenced dynamically by the competing, very potent ideal of America as a white, Protestant country. But that is getting ahead of the story. Highly recommended, but be prepared to take notes.


The bonds of nationhood had weakened, and the Rooseveltian program of nation building that had created those bonds in the first place had been repudiated. Lists with This Book.

With a meticulous eye for detail, he moves deftly from quoting Theodore Roosevelt’s desire for “hyphenated Americans” to become “Americans pure and simple” to a telling exegesis on how Superman comics represented a unique moment in the conceptualization of “the immigrant,” specifically the Jewish immigrant, in popular culture.

Gerstle portrays civic nationalism as broadly on the rise from the ‘s to the ‘s, although it was not always dominant and always co-existed with some form of racial nationalism.

Excerpt: ‘American Crucible’ : NPR

Forty-four years later, inDemocratic amercian candidate John Kerry was pressured to reassure the American public that his religious beliefs would influence public policy, particularly in relation to reproductive rights.

Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism talks about imagined communities bound together by limited borders and a belief in shared experience. Two conflicting notions of nationalism have shaped American identity during the twentieth century: In the case of the Japanese the fear was the opposite, with many believing they were equal and possibly superior to Americans of strictly European descent.

Terstle argues that the civil rights movement and Vietnam broke the liberal nation apart, and his analysis of this upheaval leads him to assess Reagan’s and Clinton’s attempts to resurrect nationalism.

In the words of Malcolm X, America was not a dream; it was a nightmare. In an epilogue I explore the rise of multiculturalism in the s and gertsle significance as an antiracist and anti-American ideology. Adam rated it really liked it Nov 06,