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The End of the MythFrom a Pulitzer Prize winner a new and eye opening interpretation of the meaning of the frontier from early westward expansion to Trump's border wallEver since this nation's inception the idea of an open and ever expanding frontier has been central to American identity Symbolizing a future of endless promise it was the foundation of the United States' belief in itself as an exceptional nation democratic individualistic forward looking Today though America has a new symbol the border wallIn The End of the Myt. This book explores the evolution through history of the existence and myth of the frontier in the American self image and psychic For some rhetoricians it was the frontier that ennobled America's can do spirit of adventure and exploration into new things and places This “safety valve” allowed—according to some philosophers—the American experiment with representative democracy to survive the suppressed resentment of the working poor This book also exposes the selfish greed that motivated those less memorable times in history when atrocities were committed in contradiction to the lofty statements of purpose upon which the nation was founded Even after the physical reality of the frontier faded the myth continued to carry on in the American imaginationThe frontier here and henceforth was a state of of mind a cultural zone a sociological term of comparison a type of society and adjective a noun a national myth a disciplining mechanism an abstraction and an aspiration p116However this book's narrative builds to the conclusion that the latest Trumpian calls for a border wall indicates that the myth has reached its end—the American myth has finally arrived at the ultimate closed border What this means is that the nation can no longer avoid coming to terms with issues of ineuality and domination at home—problems that in the past were glossed over by redirecting attention to the myth of the frontier Here's a LINK to a long thorough review of this book from The Nation magazineHere are some uotations from the book to ponder “Expansion would break up society “into a greater variety of interests and pursuits of passions which check each other” The amalgamation of power would be prevented making it unnecessary to take government action either to regulate concentrated wealth or to repress movements organized in opposition to concentrated wealth “Extend the sphere” Madison wrote “and you take in a greater variety of parties and interests” and you make it difficult for either a mob majority or a tyrannical minority to unite “to invade the rights of other citizens” p29 Whatever one's take on any of the debates of the day especially the debate over slavery and whatever one's philosophical understanding of the relationship of republicanism to land commerce finance and labor most agreed on practicalities Also wanted to remove Spain from the Mississippi; also wanted the capacities to pacify hostile native Americans and put down rebellions of poor people; and all wanted Great Britain to get out of the way of their commerce All wanted “room enough” as Thomas Jefferson would put it in his 1800 inaugural address to be protected from Europe’s “exterminating havoc”Expansion became the answer to every uestion the solution to all problems especially those two caused by expansion” p29 30 “Many historians still consider Jackson’s two terms 1829–1837 the fulfillment of the promise of the American Revolution’s anti aristocratic aspirations a moment of boisterous egalitarianism in which restless white workers armed with the vote became a political force p56 “The war in the Philippines gave English a successor word to “frontier” used to refer to remoteness “boondocks” from the Tagalog “a distant unpopulated place” adopted by US soldiers fighting a shadowy war against hit and run enemies Its usage was expanded in World War II and then shortened in Vietnam to “boonies” p126 “Maybe after Trump is gone what is understood as the political “center” can be reestablished But it seems doubtful Politics appears to be moving in two opposite directions One way nativism beckons; Donald Trump for now is its standard bearer The other way socialism calls to younger voters who burdened by debt and confronting a bleak labor market are embracing social rights in numbers never before seen Coming generations will face a stark choice—a choice long deferred by the emotive power of frontier universalism but set forth in vivid relief by recent events the choice between barbarism and socialism or at least social democracy” p275This book was a finalist for the 2020 Pulitzer Prize

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review The End of the Myth Ð eBook or Kindle ePUB ↠ From a Pulitzer Prize winner a new and eye opening interpretation of the meaning of the frontier from early westward expansion to Trump's border wallEver since this nation's inception the idea of an open and ever expanding frontier has been central to American identity SymbolizinAstrophe of the 2008 financial meltdown and our unwinnable wars in the Middle East have slammed this gate shut bringing political passions that had long been directed elsewhere back homeIt is this new reality Grandin says that explains the rise of reactionary populism and racist nationalism the extreme anger and polarization that catapulted Trump to the presidency The border wall may or may not be built but it will survive as a rallying point an allegorical tombstone marking the end of American exceptionalis. I'm drawn to books about the idea of America's westward movement as its foundation myth and reason for its greatness It makes sense to me that these historical narratives of expansion taught to me in school as manifest destiny and essential purpose used to hide imperialism and the exploitation of peoples and simpler tales taught to young minds can be explained today in mythic terms I like the history and the interpretation of realities I've known about my whole life and I read everything on the subject as myth I can get my hands onHowever I had a lovehate relationship with Greg Grandin's The End of the Myth Mostly it's what it says it is a history of the idea of the American frontier and how it's been used by various factions political and social It introduced me to some new says of seeing particularly in regard to the southern border and the attitudes of nativism clinging to it I admired Grandin's discussion of the frontier and expansion as a safety valve a way of letting the settled east free itself of the pressures of increasing population growth and the need for land while also encouraging our extreme elements to move west Such issues as the Free Soil movement which made public land available to immigrants and the idea of moving freed slaves to Texas made for interesting readingAlso interesting was his explaining the idea of how North and South were reunited by the patriotic fervor created during the Spanish American War In addressing how enthusiasm for this war and the new imperialism was generated at the expense of the civil rights of African Americans this chapter probably began what I perceived as a shrillness in tone which became a piercing scream in the chapter devoted to the Vietnam War I believe Vietnam blunted the progress of domestic social programs intended to improve civil liberties for racial minorities but I don't believe his claim that the proliferation of the Confederate battle flag during that war and every subseuent war signifies that flag as the banner of Lost Cause white supremacy or that those sentiments were widely expressed in Vietnam I've read many Vietnam War histories of all kinds diplomatic social military anti war in the past decade 40 at my rough count but I've never encountered any discourse to even suggest Grandin's assertions of the war as a racial war one that can be seen in terms of the Lost Cause rather than one of an extension of manifest destiny vaulting the Pacific to wash up on the shores of the Philippines Japan Korea and Vietnam I've never read any views like those Grandin writes They seemed bubble headed and unnecessarily sensational to me And because I feel myself so familiar with Vietnam and reacted so negatively to his analysis of the war as it relates to America's myth of westward movement I wondered if I should uestion earlier chapters whose material I was less familiar with And it caused me to uestion the chapters followingI think the shrillness though not as piercing continues in the final 4 chapters discussing such topics as the policies of Reagan NAFTA and the nativism sometimes violent at work today along our border with Mexico Grandin's arguments are loud that we have nowhere else to go and are imploding because we're losing the ability to channel extremism outward that our resources are finite after all and that we're closing the circle by building a wall which limits our expansion just as well as it tries to keep others out And that finally the wall admits our disenchantment In Grandin's notes on sources he acknowledges a particular debt to historian Richard Slotkin an interpreter of the west and the frontier who has written that the single most important point of issue in American history is our relationship to race And having read Grandin's book I realize I've read a book which explains our westward movement with that understanding While I don't agree with everything he writes the fascination of his arguments still merits 5 stars

Greg Grandin ☆ 3 review

H acclaimed historian Greg Grandin explores the meaning of the frontier throughout the full sweep of US history from the American Revolution to the War of 1898 the New Deal to the election of 2016 For centuries he shows America's constant expansion fighting wars and opening markets served as a gate of escape helping to deflect domestic political and economic conflicts outward But this deflection meant that the country's problems from racism to ineuality were never confronted directly And now the combined cat. The End of the Myth From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of AmericaGreg Grandin’s book is must read information for every US citizen Everything you think you know well you do but this will put it in a naked truth context that will not be comfortable Hard nuggets to swallow and there are chapters full in these pages Starting at the beginning and he shows how some of these selfsame battles have been fought in the past America’s politics Presidents and politicians their favorite issues and campaigns their messages their legacies It’s time to take a look back to assess where we’ve been in order to see that where we are is no accidentAs hard and painful as reading this was the stunning part was the sense and truth it made of the rubik’s cube of history that is in my head There was no arguing with it – all that happened The author makes sure to show other parts of the “history” you may not have known or affects that weren’t covered in our school books His conclusions are sound and pedestals are swept away – leaving humans flawed and less than heroicGrandin’s euation comes down to Trump or his ilkif it wasn’t him it would have been someone like him and the wall at the end of the never ending violence and culture killing our uest for liberty has cost the peoples who occupied this land before usTrump bumps up against the end of our Frontier and all the problems that entails Past regimes were able to distract with other hot concerns but now we are at the end of our expansion rope and need to solve problems we have had from the very beginning and didn’t – we just moved on and rolled over someone newYes This is a scary book But it is crucial to anyone interested in the answer to the uestion How did we get here Make some time to look at the American Myth Rethinking reconsidering and examining your place in history is not disloyal it is part of the job of citizen Be brave Having a clear view of what’s what is the best way to provide ourselves a hopeful place to start sorting the tangled present in which we daily weave 5 crucial stars