American Exceptionalism and Historical Scholarship

Over the past several years I’ve noticed in the blogosphere and elsewhere a debate over the concept of American exceptionalism.  I tried not to pay much attention to it, because much of the debate seemed to act as a surrogate for something else.  However, in going through newspapers at home this morning (part of the never-ending effort to recycle all the paper that comes into this house), I came across this article, which was also recycled in our local paper.

So much of this argument has so little to do with trying to understand what we mean by American exceptionalism that I’m hard-pressed to know where to begin.  But I do think we can break down elements of the argument and consider them.  Let’s see if that engenders some sound discussion or more of the same partisan bickering … Continue reading