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  • The Strange Death of American Exceptionalism

The Strange Death of American Exceptionalism



There have been numerous books that purport to explain the current “populist” moment, but in The Strange Death of American Exceptionalism, Jack Ross puts both sides of the culture war into historical context. Ross explains both the self-destruction of the Christian right and the transformation of the Democratic Party into a party of technocratic woke illiberalism. Neither woke identity politics nor the cult of Trump are mere fads. Instead, they are the culmination of both necessary and contingent historical and cultural developments tracing all the way back to the roots of American civilization. This book is for those on the left or the right who still cling to the American Creed — the strong commitment to civil liberties and the embrace of individual rights over group rights — and look to the prospects for its revival.

A welcome call for reviving a new vital center that should be read by all those tired of the brutal stalemate American life and politics has become. Jack Ross gives American exceptionalism a proper burial but also provides a bracing polemic in favor of an enduring American creed based on the fundamental values of the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. His erudite dissection of how the Democratic Party has lost its connection to that creed and, not coincidentally, its identity as the party of America’s working people must be taken seriously.

- Ruy Teixeira, writer/editor of The Liberal Patriot on Substack and co-author of Where Have All the Democrats Gone?

Jack Ross plunges us into the history of what “American Exceptionalism” has meant — the political, social, and tribal forces that thread the national tapestry — and the demise of the American creed and identity amidst a culture war on a myriad of battlefields: academic, legal, and corporate. This, combined with profound shifts in both the Democratic and Republican parties, 20+ years of failed wars, and a general plunge in Americans’ faith in their institutions, begs for a realignment into a new post-American Exceptionalist paradigm. — Kelley Vlahos, Editorial Director, Responsible Statecraft, and Senior Advisor at the Quincy Institute

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