Gary Gerstle traces the forces of civic and racial nationalism, arguing that both profoundly American Crucible: Race and Nation in the Twentieth Century. The dialectical tension between these two ideals lies at the heart of Gary Gerstle’s monograph, American Crucible. Much like E. J. Hobsbawm’s analysis of the. American Crucible: Race and Nation in the Twentieth Century By Gary Gerstle Paperback, pages. Princeton University Press List price.

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AMERICAN CRUCIBLE: Race and Nation in the Twentieth Century

The Case of Immigration Reform. Restrictions were again placed on immigration allegedly due to the number of refugees entering America, and with the segregation again of African American troops, the conflict between racial and civic nationalism was again on display. As late as the s, members of the House of Representatives felt no shame in declaring on the House floor that the American “pioneer race” was being replaced by “a mongrel one,” or in admiring a scientist who told them that Americans “had been so imbued with the idea of democracy.

Is the United States a social melting pot, as our civic creed warrants, or is full citizenship somehow reserved for those who are white and of the “right” ancestry?

American Crucible: Race and Nation in the Twentieth Century – Gary Gerstle – Google Books

He doesn’t amerkcan that ordinary people have actually given up on these ideas. The most important crucible, in his eyes, was that of war, for the stress and dangers of combat generated pressures to unify that no peacetime initiative could simulate.

Open Preview See a Problem? However, he remained a strong believer in the ideal of civic equality and, as a Progressive, extended it ameriacn the socio-economic sphere through calls for the regulation of capitalism and the establishment of state welfare programs.

First we must gain a sense of how the American nation of the twentieth century came to be. This informed and well-argued study is a strong addition to the literature on race, multiculturalism and citizenship in the U. Civic refers to the ideas of But if the effort to define the nation in racial terms was constant during this era, the precise racial mix of groups that were allowed to contribute to American nationality was not.


To gestle other readers questions about American Verstleplease sign up. If you originally registered with a username please use that to sign in. Good War Race War Trivia About American Crucible Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford.

Excerpt: ‘American Crucible’ : NPR

My library Help Advanced Book Search. Jan 15, Pinko Palest rated it really liked it.

Have racial tensions and the vision of hybridity embodied in the symbol of the melting pot really receded to the background of discussions on American national identity? It also, as Theodore Roosevelt believed, reinvigorated the racial mixing he believed was necessary to keeping the nation vital.

Perhaps no figure illustrates the association of war and the nation more than Theodore Roosevelt, which is why I have accorded him a pivotal role in the story that I tell.

I americab think that Americans are united on a common set of values and that Gerstle focuses too much on intellectual changes. Aiwha Ong in Flexible Citizenship takes a critical look at the view Americans have of what constitutes good citizenship and how that manifests itself in the way instruments of governmentality interacts with new immigrants, and Gary Gerstle, in the book I will be reviewing here, American Crucible: Most users should sign gerstl with their email address.

Ben rated it really liked it Feb amrrican, Nations can win the allegiance of their people through promises of liberty, prosperity, and immortality or beat them into submission through campaigns of fear and intimidation. You could not be signed in. Want to Read saving…. It furthers the University’s objective of excellence cgucible research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide.

The Militarys Hidden Race War. The ideal of the multiracial, multicultural society has always been influenced dynamically by the competing, very potent ideal of America as a white, Protestant country. Policies aimed at Immigration and social policy, drug and law enforcement, affirmative action, welfare policy, foreign policy and many other issues all can be traced to the ways we view citizenship and the struggle to maintain a uniquely American identity.


Gerstle touches on iconic instances amdrican U.

A hybrid of civic nationalism’s best value the idea that anyone can become American by accepting a certain set of values and practices can certainly be reconciled with a celebration of diversity. Gerstle identifies Theodore Roosevelt as the gsrstle of this tension between civic and racial nationalism, the mixture of which allowed him to pursue progressive social and economic policies that benefited a significant portion of the population.

By the s and s, however, these eastern and southern European ethnics were challenging this characterization of themselves as racially inferior and were winning recognition for their worth as white Americans.

We witness the amfrican of racial thinking among such vrucible as FDR and LBJ; we see how Italians and Jews from Frank Capra to the creators of Superman perpetuated the New Deal philosophy while suppressing their own ethnicity; we feel the frustrations of African-American servicemen denied the opportunity to fight for their country and the moral outrage of more recent black activists, including Martin Luther King, Jr.

Americans like to think that civic nationalism is our defining paradigm and racial nationalism the aberration, but Gerstle shows this only became semi-true in the midth century and that racial nationalism has always coexisted and competed with civic nationalism. Receive exclusive offers and updates from Oxford Academic. Roosevelt believed that such discrimination gegstle necessary to forge an frucible race.

The bonds of nationhood had weakened, and the Rooseveltian program of nation building that had created those bonds in the first place had been repudiated.

Jun 21, Heather rated it really liked it Shelves: These beliefs represent a kind of democratic universalism that can take root anywhere. Hardening the Boundaries of the Nation