American Crucible: A Nation Under Siege

Good Essays
“A Nation Under Siege”
In “American Crucible: Race and Nation In The Twentieth Century” by Gary Gerstle in his thesis he starts out by stating “ In this book, I argue that the pursuit of these two powerful and contradictory ideals – the civic and the racial – has decisively shaped the history of the American nation in the twentieth century”. (pg.5) How the nation was under new ideas and traits. Bringing in and shaping the war. He starts by comparing presidents who have changed or shaped the world as we see today such as president Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson who calls them “congressman of the 1920s and 1930s” men who changed the way the world thinks.
One way Gerstle proves how the congressmen have shaped the nation
…show more content…
While reading the book I noticed that those two main key points pop up on almost every page of the book. In my finding I also noticed that Gerstle base national identity off of citizenship. In “American Crucible” Gerstle argues that civic nationalism and racial identity shaped the American history, “How both ideals influenced critical immigration and war mobilization policies” and how they “shaped social reform movements”(pg.5). Both ideas are very complex in their own right. Racial nationalism are set to believe that people are held together by common skin color and blood type for the government of self. While civic nationalism is said to be identified as “political and social equality for all irrespective of race.” However, the two contradicted each other, they were combined together for the rooseveltian nation, which Gerstle stated in his book, “ a nation whose outlines are discernible in the first two decades of the twentieth century and whose character would define American society from the mid 1930s to the mid-1960s.”(pg.8). We later on find out that Gerstle believed that the wars during that time sharpen us for the nation we live in now against the enemies we face. “ Wars provided opportunities to sharpen American national identity against external enemies who threatened the nations exestince, to transform millions of Americans whole loyalty was uncertain into ardent
Get Access