The Myth Of American Exceptionalism Analysis

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The Myth of American Exceptionalism
Godfrey Hodgson, author of “The Myth of American Exceptionalism,” critics the concept of American exceptionalism throughout the book. Hodgson’s states that his purpose is not to ‘’minimize American achievements or to demean the quality of American civilization.” (16) He says he admires the idea of a country ruled based on popular sovereignty, equal rights and the questioning of a government that was created for the people. However, he also criticizes the concept of American exceptionality through the notion that the United States’ superiority and “uniqueness” has been greatly exaggerated by misguided interpretations of American history, as well as to warn the audience, not only Americans, about the dangers of “self-praise” build around “unreal and hubristic assumptions.” (16)
Geoffrey Hodgson starts off by exposing several occasion where the idea of America’s superiority has been altered and often exaggerated by misguided interpretations of the past; for example, he remarks the interpretation of the Mayflower contract by the sixth president of the United states, John Quincy Adams, who said, “perhaps the only instance in human history of that positive, original social compact, which speculative philosophers have imagined as the only legitimate source of government.” (5) To debate the radical claim made by president Adams,
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He mostly disagrees with the idea of American exceptionalism when it plays against his own believes. His critiques are mostly directed towards conservatives and neoconservative’s exceptionalism rather than liberals; “By 1990’s the background to the growing obsession with Iraq among neoconservatives was exceptionalist sentiment. Neither Saddam Hussein nor any other foreign leader must stand against the high historic mission of the United States to bring democracy to the Middle East.” (171) Hodgson constantly attacks George W. Bush’s presidency and conservative political
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