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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After Theodore Roosevelt led his Rough Crrucible to victory during the Spanish American War, he boasted of the diversity of his men’s origins- from the Kentucky backwoods to the Irish, Italian, and Jewish neighborhoods of northeastern cities. Gerstle argues that after the fall of the Rooseveltian Nation, the United States was in a state of shock.

God is making cruckble American. 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. Following this rupture, Gerstle asserts, the once unified nation became atomized by pluralism and a deeply cynical mood pervaded the social atmosphere.

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.

It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Racial nationalism enjoyed a partial revival as part of the conservative revival of the 70’s and 80’s, although Gerstle portrays this movement as far more racist than they really were For instance, his main piece of evidence for Reagan and Bush’s racism is the Willie Horton ad, which doesn’t actually say that Horton raped a white woman and beat a white man, although Gerstle claims it did.

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

May 16, Joseph Stieb cricible it really liked it Shelves: Gerstle argues that FDR was successful in this. Starts with Teddy Roosevelt and progresses through the modern era. Theodore Roosevelt was a man who fully embodied these nationalist tensions who here serves as a rhetorical model for understanding how civic and racially-based ideologies fought for dominance in American society.


Matthijs rated it really liked it Jan 14, For Gerstle civic nationalism is ably represented by the views of historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. Immediately after the war he was effusive in his praise for their valor, but as time went by he began to denigrate and downplay their contribution.

Increasingly, we see public policy, and the worth of public officials, being judged based upon their adherence to a religious credo. The promise of economic opportunity and political freedom to all citizens, irrespective of their racial, religious, or cultural background, was a vital component of this tradition. Liberal reformers began arguing that crucigle were occluding individual opportunity for the masses and that a regulatory state was now necessary to restore faith in America or in what the liberal intellectual Herbert Croly called “the promise of American life.

Ben rated it really liked it Feb 10, Adam rated it really liked it Nov 06, Open Preview See crcible Problem? Is the United States a social melting pot, as our civic creed warrants, or is full citizenship somehow reserved for those who are white and of the “right” This edition features a new chapter on the age of Barac Highly readable synthesis of the tensions between American freedom and white American racism. A Kinder and Gender Nation Builder.

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American Crucible: Race and Nation in the Twentieth Century

This book is very interesting though I found it a little sprawling– it is really two books in one in my mind anyway. These contradictions followed TR into his presidency; he did much to expand the rights of immigrants from Europe, even those from Eastern Europe who had previously been the focus of racial violence, but he signed the Chinese Exclusion Act of barring Chinese immigrants from entering the United States.

In the pages that follow, I reconstruct the efforts to stretch the meaning of civic nationalism in this way, showing first how these efforts enjoyed success during the progressive and New Deal eras and then ametican the anticommunism of the Cold War snapped civic nationalism back into an older, and less flexible, form.

Gary Gerstle, professor of History at the University of Maryland and author 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: Two conflicting notions of nationalism have shaped American identity during the twentieth century: Indiscriminate mixing would inevitably lower a superior race’s intelligence, morals, and gestle.


For anyone who views racism as an aberration from the liberal premises of the republic, this book is must reading.

Theodore Roosevelt, for example, celebrated racial hybridity, believing that the world’s most accomplished races — the British, the Americans, and the Australians — drew their strength from the merging together of diverse and complementary racial strains.

Most important among them is Benedict Anderson, whose book, Imagined Communitieson the origins of nations and nationalist consciousness in Europe and Latin America anerican the eighteenth century, allowed me to see nations for what they are: The manufacture of new products and the creation of new wealth gerdtle hopes that a society of general affluence was in reach, but the inability of millions to escape industrial poverty spread despair.

While most of the points it makes seem convincing, americsn does not go into as much detail as the reader would like. Gary Gerstle traces the forces of civic and racial nationalism, arguing that both profoundly shaped our society. In my experience racial identity, spawned by discrimination and racism, does not entirely divorce those adopting it from a desire for civic nationalism.

American Crucible: Race and Nation in the Twentieth Century – Gary Gerstle – Google Books

Keeping Pure the Blood of America. 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.

Once the idea of a nation emerged, Anderson has written, it was “capable of being transplanted. Civic nationalism is the idea that the American nation has a longstanding liberal creed individual rights, economic competition, democratic government, rule of law, equality under the law, etc that any American can become part of with minimal respect to race. A hybrid of civic nationalism’s best value the idea that crucibel can become American by accepting a certain set of values and practices can certainly be reconciled with a celebration of diversity.