American Mythos by Robert Wuthnow
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American Mythos
By Robert Wuthnow

American Mythos

Why Our Best Efforts to be a Better Nation Fall Short

By (author) See other recent books by Robert Wuthnow
Format: Paperback

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American Mythos by Robert Wuthnow

Book Description

America was built on stories: tales of grateful immigrants arriving at Ellis Island, Horatio Alger-style transformations, self-made men, and the Protestant work ethic. In this new book, renowned sociologist Robert Wuthnow examines these most American of stories--narratives about individualism, immigration, success, religion, and ethnicity--through the eyes of recent immigrants. In doing so, he demonstrates how the "American mythos" has both legitimized American society and prevented it from fully realizing its ideals. This magisterial work is a reflection and meditation on the national consciousness. It details how Americans have traditionally relied on narratives to address what it means to be strong, morally responsible individuals and to explain why some people are more successful than others--in short, to help us make sense of our lives. But it argues that these narratives have done little to help us confront new challenges. We pass laws to end racial discrimination, yet lack the resolve to create a more equitable society. We welcome the idea of pluralism in religion and values, yet we are shaken by the difficulties immigration presents. We champion prosperity for all, but live in a country where families are still homeless. American Mythos aptly documents this disconnect between the stories we tell and the reality we face. Examining how cultural narratives may not, and often do not, reflect the reality of today's society, it challenges readers to become more reflective about what it means to live up to the American ideal.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780691138558
ISBN-10: 0691138559
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x 18mm)
Pages: 304
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 14-Jul-2008
Country of Publication: United States

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Books By Author Robert Wuthnow

Inventing American Religion by Robert Wuthnow Inventing American Religion, Hardback (November 2015)

Inventing American Religion traces the history of polling, examining its powerful rise in supplying information about the nation's faith, chronicling its current weaknesses, and tackling the difficult questions of how we should think about polls and surveys in American religion today.

» View all books by Robert Wuthnow

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Author Biography - Robert Wuthnow

Robert Wuthnow is Gerhard R. Andlinger '52 Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton University. His recent books include "America and the Challenges of Religious Diversity" and "Saving America? Faith-Based Services and the Future of Civil Society" (both Princeton).

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»
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