Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Trim: 6⅜ x 9
978-1-4422-2277-9 • Hardback • April 2013 • $78.00 • (£60.00)
978-1-4422-2279-3 • eBook • April 2013 • $74.00 • (£57.00)
Charles W. Dunn currently serves as the Distinguished Professor of Government at Regent University's Robertson Graduate School of Government, where he previously served as dean. He has also taught at Clemson University, Grove City College, the University of Illinois-Urbana, and Florida State University.
Introduction: The Magnetism of American Exceptionalism, Charles W. Dunn
Old Wine in New Wine Skins; The Silver Thread of American Exceptionalism; Debating the Magnetism of American Exceptionalism.
PART I: The History of American Exceptionalism
1. The Origins and Character of American Exceptionalism, James W. Ceaser
An Exceptional War: Liberals versus Conservatives; Exceptional Objections. Defining “Exceptionalism” (or Redefining It for Some); Anti-Exceptionalism: American Declinism; The Mission Expressed Through History; Separating the Matrix of Thoughts in America’s Mission; Conclusion.
2. The Varieties of American Exceptionalism, Hugh Heclo
A Brief History of the Term “American Exceptionalism;” Framing Our Identity; Exceptionalism of Condition; Exceptionalism of Mission; Exceptionalism of Character.
PART II: The Foundations of American Exceptionalism
3. The City on a Hill: Life in a Morally Demanding Place, Hadley Arkes
The Moral Truth: We are to be Governed by Our Own Consent; The Moral Character Defines a Citizen; Which to Use: The Obvious Moral Basis or The Commerce Clause?; Conclusion.
4. A Peculiar People in “God’s American Israel,” Daniel L. Dreisbach
Beginning America’s Sacred Mission; Two Views about the Colonists’ Beliefs; Divine Providence in Early American Political Thought; A Chosen, Elect, and Covenanted People; Christian Hebraism in Early American Political Discourse; America: God’s New Israel? The Founders and Ancient Israel’s Governmental Model; Conclusion.
PART III: The Challenges to American Exceptionalism
5. Taking Exception to Exceptionalism, T. David Gordon
The Religious Idea of American Exceptionalism (and why I oppose it); Historical Considerations; Theological Considerations; The Secular Idea of American Exceptionalism (and why I disapprove it also, though less zealously); Is America Still Exceptional? Probably not. Should America Strive to be Exceptional (Probably not).
6. Is Exceptionalism a Myth?, William Kristol
The Declaration of Independence: Un-exceptionally American; The Federalist Papers: Unexceptional and Exceptional; Gettysburg Address: Universal Principle and Special Responsibility; The Patriotism of Universal Principles; The Burden of American Exceptionalism.
PART IV: The Future of American Exceptionalism
7. Ronald Reagan’s Vision of America, George H. Nash
The Colonial Perspective; More Recent Perspectives; Reagan and American Exceptionalism; Reagan’s Oration on American Exceptionalism; Reagan Addresses Foes of American Exceptionalism; Reagan’s American Exceptionalism v. LBJ and Academic Elitism; Reagan’s Addition to American Exceptionalism; Freedom and Destiny: The Underpinnings of Reagan’s Vision; Remember Our History or Lose Our Liberty; Reagan and the YouTube Generation.
8. Killing the Lone Ranger: American Exceptionalism and the Western, Marvin J. Folkertsma
The Code: American Exceptionalism Through the Western Lens; Plunging into a New Frontier; From East to West: Let the Best Man Win; Americans Are the Good Guys; American Exceptionalism: Riding Off Into the Sunset?
9. Restoring Reaganesque Exceptionalism in American Politics, Michael Barone
A Burden of Responsibility, Not a Position of Privilege; The Influence of the Glorious Revolution; Opposing Hegemonic Tyrannies; A Renaissance Time-Traveler.
10. Back to the Future: Ronald Reagan’s Exceptionalism, Steven Hayward
Reagan’s Body-Snatching Project; The Tale of the Tape; Constitutionalism and Original Intent; The Constitution and the Making of Citizens.
[E]very day and everywhere in the world citizens of other countries line up in long lines at American embassies, patiently waiting for the opportunity of coming to America. Call it what you may, American Exceptionalism or something else, America has a magnetic appeal not found anywhere else in the world. . . . Regardless of whether American Exceptionalism attracts or repels, debates about it open the window to a deeper understanding of the word American.
(Excerpted from the introduction)
— Charles W. Dunn, author of The Scarlet Thread of Scandal: Morality and the American Presidency