American Literature & the Culture Wars

By Gregory S. Jay | Go to book overview

two Not Born on the Fourth of July

around the nation and across the globe, one question surfaces repeatedly: Is the elemental unit of political theory and culture to be the individual or the group? A series of corollary questions follows: How do we respond to the fact that the creation of any national identity always involves the exclusion of certain citizens, whether through the subtle omission of their beliefs from dominant institutions or through the violence of outright genocide? Is democratic freedom possible if the individual is treated according to how society values the group to which it assigns that individual? Can a person resist such discrimination individually, or only through changing the way the group is represented? To turn from questions of theory to conditions of history: Can the nation-state be a viable political or cultural entity now that the tech

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American Literature & the Culture Wars
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • American Literature & the Culture Wars *
  • Contents *
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction Making Ends Meet i
  • One - The Struggle for Representation 18
  • Two - Not Born on the Fourth of July 58
  • Three - Taking Multiculturalism Personally 103
  • Four - The Discipline of the Syllabus 136
  • Five - The End of "American" Literature 169
  • WORKS CITED 215
  • Index 225
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