Pulse of the People
MADE IN AMERICA:
A Social History of American Culture and Character.
By Claude S. Fischer.
Univ. of Chicago Press. 511 pp. $35
Last year, the British production company that made what has become the popular series America: The Story of Us for the History Channel invited me to review the script, which treats the invention of America across 400 years. I advised against the use of the term “American national character” on the grounds that it was misleading, since all Americans don’t have the same character, and the term elides variations in race, class, region, religion, ethnicity, gender, and politics. In any case, it was academically unfashionable. Now, Claude S. Fischer’s Made in America has rehabilitated the expression “American character,” at least for me.
To read the rest of this article, please consider becoming a WQ subscriber, which allows online access to the current WQ issue as well as archive content. Other access options are below.
Research, browse, and discover more than 35 years of articles, essays, and reviews by preeminent scholars and writers. Our searchable archive of back issues is free for WQ subscribers.
Daniel Walker Howe won the Pulitzer Prize for History in 2008 for What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815–1848, a volume in the Oxford History of the United States. He is a professor emeritus at both the University of Oxford and the University of California, Los Angeles.more from this author >>
By Martin Stannard.
W.W. Norton. 627 pp. $35 THE FLIGHT OF THE INTELLECTUALS.
By Paul Berman.
Melville House. 299 pp. $26
THE OTHER MUSLIMS:
Moderate and Secular.
Edited by Zeyno Baran.
Palgrave Macmillan. 211 pp. $30 THE OTHER WES MOORE:
One Name and Two Fates.
By Wes Moore.
Spiegel & Grau. 233 pp. $25