The Mythology of American Politics: A Critical Response to Fundamental Questions (Paperback)

The Mythology of American Politics: A Critical Response to Fundamental Questions By John T. Bookman Cover Image

The Mythology of American Politics: A Critical Response to Fundamental Questions (Paperback)


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In this provocative set of essays, John Bookman delves beneath the transitory issues of the day to identify and respond to the fundamental, perennial questions of American politics. The questions concern the myths that shape the thinking of so many Americans about politics. These myths are the popular narratives that impart meaning to the American experience and define for many what it is to be an American. For the first time, readers have under one cover a sober, informed examination of these myths.

Among the myths subjected to critical examination are the following:

1. The Framers of the Constitution were fundamentalist Christians. Americans at the time of the founding constituted a Christian nation.

2. The Framers were disinterested demigods who wrote a constitution for the ages.

3. James Madison intended separation of powers and checks and balances to protect the general citizenry against government.

4. Constitutional constraints on democratic majorities are necessary to prevent tyranny of the majority.

5. The United States is exceptional. It is more populist, egalitarian, religious, patriotic, and prosperous than other nations.

6. Americans are a chosen people marked out by God or history to carry out a world-historical mission.

7. The unfettered market uses resources more efficiently, better promotes growth, and confers more freedom than other ways of organizing the production and distribution of goods and services.

In his examination of these myths, Bookman does not slight argument in favor of description and explanation. He does not neglect description and explanation, but he enlists them in the service of arguments, and those arguments reach conclusions sure to be controversial.
John T. Bookman is professor emeritus of political science at the University of Northern Colorado. He has published articles on political philosophy and American politics in academic journals, and he taught those subjects to undergraduate and graduate students for thirty-four years. He is also the coauthor with Stephen T. Powers of The March to Victory, a History Book Club selection. He lives in the Denver area.

Product Details ISBN: 9781597971997
ISBN-10: 1597971995
Publisher: Potomac Books
Publication Date: July 1st, 2008
Pages: 220
Language: English