Is America Different?: A New Look at American Exceptionalism by Byron E. Shafer (Andrew W. Mellon Professor of American Government, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of American Government, Nuffield College, Oxford)
`American Exceptionalism' is the scholarly term for the common perception that there is something different about American life, stemming from the origins of the United States and its subsequent evolution, and marking it off from the experience of other developed nations. There is a long, rich, and varied argument about this perception, its reality, and its component elements. In Is America Different? major scholars from the realms of history, politics, economics, and sociology return to the question in the light of changes in the last thirty years and debate an answer which is appropriate to our time. Politics, economics, religion, culture, education, and public policy receive particular attention in this debate, while a major introductory essay by Seymour Martin Lipset and a final integrating chapter by Byron E. Shafer isolate common themes and recurring disputes. The other contributors are: Daniel Bell, Peter Temin, Andrew M. Greeley, Aaron Wildavsky, Martin Trow, and Richard Rose.