And there are any interesting connotations in this essay. Wells, Frederick Douglass, Black Elk, Anna J. You need to know where you came from! Especially in the 1600s and 1700s, legal and social equality of those not of the Caucasian persuasion, the less fortunate, and of the female gender was almost nonexistent. With this update of his lacerating critique of the sordidness of American civil religion and other destructive myths, Hughes now indicts white supremacy as the foundational myth providing the most accelerant to those other myths that have burned through our history. The diction in this essay is important. The result is Myths America Lives By: White Supremacy and the Stories that Gives Us Meaning. I know that I once held to most if not all of these myths, and I know the comfort found in clinging to them.
There is the myth of liberty—and the dictatorship of public opinion; the myth of economic liberalism—and the big companies extending over the whole country which, in the final analysis, belong to no one and in which the employees, from top to bottom, are like functionaries in a state industry. How could a government, an institution that perpetuates its existence through the use of force, ever lay claim to Israel's legacy? For example, rather than starting with the Puritan errand into the American wilderness, in his chapter on the Myth of the Chosen Nation, he begins with the English Reformation and provides an instructive account of William Tyndale as the original British source for the idea of a national covenant. He accurately distinguishes between the good and the corrupt forms of the myths. In the white imagination, the America chosen by God was not black America or red America but white America. The work of Murray Rothbard in The Ethics of Liberty free via Mises. Misused, these myths allow for illusions of innocence that fly in the face of white supremacy, the primal American myth that stands at the heart of all the others.
Despite the exhaustive research that lies behind the book, the methodology of citation in George Gershwin: A New Biography is inconsistent. I fill up and cringe at the price. Myths America Lives By provides a brief historical account of five foundational American myths: the Myth of the Chosen Nation, the Myth of Nature's Nation, The Myth of the Christian Nation, The Myth of the Millennial Nation, and the Myth of the Innocent Nation. He pays for his gas and buys a lottery ticket. It is a most worthwhile read. Furthermore, capitalism is not the strong preying upon the weak.
The Mexican War, the Spanish-American War, and the treatment of Native Americans easily displays how the millennial nation myth can go wrong. Myths America Lives By Essay Introduction The book explores the history of the myths that define American identity, the ways many Americans have absolutized those myths, and the ways African Americans and other dissenters have exposed those myths for their discriminatory dimensions. The result is Myths America Lives By: White Supremacy and the Stories that Gives Us Meaning. This perspective and those assumptions in what is presented as a history book led to me to mistrust the author and remain cynical about everything he had to say. Journal The Journal of American Culture — Wiley Published: Mar 1, 2005. Hughes delves anew into the thought of black critics dissatisfied with America's betrayal of its foundational beliefs. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Insofar as their practice was consistent with these principles, this understanding was good. The 20th Century convinced Americans that they were in a struggle for survival against evil forces that sought her destruction, be it the Axis powers, the Communists or the terrorists. One of the most creative sections of the book is a look at the American attempt to escape history by postulating a golden age of the past and a millennial future, as manifested in the Mormons and the Disciples of Christ. I am convinced that the reader will come away with a deeper appreciation of the major myths that govern our lives. It put his first edition into a new, comprehensive and unified context. Especially in the case of the innocent nation, there is very little redeeming value in taking these myths too far. Yet it also could not countenance blacks worshipping beside whites.
But in order to justify the oppression that existed in American culture in the nineteenth century was affirmed by claiming that nature did not include Native Americans or Blacks. Agree with him on every matter or not, I am better for having contended with him. Similarly, when a careful arrangement of those melting-pot notions—puritanism, realism, optimism, and so on—which we have been told are the keys to the American character is presented to us in Europe, we experience a certain intellectual satisfaction and think that, in effect, it must be so. In other words, a nation that was a Christian nation, following the God of Scripture faithfully, and nature's nation, following the natural order of things, would by extension have the right to extend its influence not only by example, but also by force. The problems that exist in America would take the forefront and question the existence of our country.
Richard Hughes thinks hard and listens even harder to the historians, the scholars and, most of all, the prophets who understood the malignancy of white supremacy long before he did. The Myth of the Innocent Nation came into being in the twentieth century. And it has only gotten worse, as no one bothered to consider what they were actually saying. This criticism was readily apparent to many black slaves and abolitionists. Although African Americans express a different perspective, they also express a validity and hopefulness in the American Creed that they wish will one day be carried out to its truest measures.
It emphasized to keep behavior in line with the teachings of Christ. It is a most worthwhile read. Perhaps nowhere else will you find such a discrepancy between people and myth, between life and the representation of life. Twelve distinguished scholars explore these and related questions in this provocative book. Yet, how truly worthy is America of this status? I am convinced that the reader will come away with a deeper appreciation of the major myths that govern our lives. Misused, these myths allow for illusions of innocence that fly in the face of white supremacy, the primal American myth that stands at the heart of all the others.