Our American Story: The Search for a Shared National Narrative by Joshua Claybourn
Over the past couple of decades in America, the enduring, complicated divides of ideology, geography, party, class, religion, and race mutated into something deeper and more ominous. America now houses two distinct tribes, generally balanced in political power, fighting not just to advance their own side, but also to poke, prod, and defeat the other. The opposition between these tribes drowns out their love of country, each side scanning current events to advance their tribe's aims and narrative rather than the nation's. Recent survey data provides troubling evidence that Americans of both political parties sense the unraveling of a broadly shared consensus of American identity, and about seven in ten Republicans and Democrats fear that the United States is losing its national identity. Our country has lost its "story" - the narrative that unites us around a common multi-generational project and gives an overarching sense of meaning and purpose to our history. Too often modern American history and political commentary ignores a grand narrative and instead focuses on a series of power conflicts between oppressor and oppressed. With contributions from leading thinkers drawing on expertise within their fields, Our American Story: The Search for a Shared National Narrative, edited by Joshua Claybourn, offers a series of essays providing a framework for the American story. Drawing on their backgrounds as lawyer, historians, and public officials, each contributor will approach it with a unique perspective. Our American Story seeks to feature provocative essays taking up the arduous task of weaving a new national narrative in which all Americans can see themselves.