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The Roundtable

American Exceptionalism Fails Americans According "American Rule" By Jared Yates Sexton

Book cover for "American Rule"
Penguin/Random House
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Penguin/Random House

In recent years, Americans have faced a deluge of horrifying developments in politics and culture: stolen elections, fascist rallies, families torn apart and locked away. A common refrain erupts at each new atrocity: This isn’t who we are.

In the new book, "American Rule," political analyst Jared Yates Sexton upends those convenient fictions by laying bare the foundational myths at the heart of our collective American imagination. From the very origins of this nation, Americans in power have abused and subjugated others; enabling that corruption are the many myths of American exceptionalism and steadfast values, which are fed to the public and repeated across generations.

Working through each era of American growth and change, Sexton weaves together the origins and perpetuation of these narratives still in the public memory, and the acts we have chosen to forget.

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