The Cult of Individualism: A History of an Enduring American Myth

The Cult of Individualism: A History of an Enduring American Myth

by Aaron Barlow

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Overview

American individualism: It is the reason for American success, but it also tears the nation apart.


• Documents how the concept and execution of "American individualism" is as diverse as America itself

• Explains how the American notion of individualism has roots that extend back to cultural myths that predate the founding of the nation

• Spotlights the role of the "Borderer" culture spearheaded by the Scots-Irish, whose legacy fuels much of America's contemporary cultural and political divides

• Provides eye-opening information for any reader who wishes to know why so many of our 21st-century political debates in America seem hopelessly irreconcilable

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781440828294
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 08/27/2013
Pages: 238
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Aaron Barlow is associate professor of English at New York City College of Technology (CUNY). A cultural studies specialist, he is the author of several other Praeger titles.

What People are Saying About This

Robert André LaFleur

"Aaron Barlow's The Cult of Individualism is impressive in its engagement with a subject that affects every aspect of life in the American twenty-first century. Barlow's focus on sociality and connectedness allows him to analyze individualism in a dynamic way that presents a compelling picture of change and continuity in American life. The manner in which he has positioned himself and his research is compelling, and serves as a model for an engaged, yet rigorous study of complex social matters. Above all, the rich source materials upon which Barlow has drawn make for a vivid portrayal of American culture within and beyond its traditional power sources."

Robert Andre LaFleur

"Aaron Barlow's The Cult of Individualism is impressive in its engagement with a subject that affects every aspect of life in the American twenty-first century. Barlow's focus on sociality and connectedness allows him to analyze individualism in a dynamic way that presents a compelling picture of change and continuity in American life. The manner in which he has positioned himself and his research is compelling, and serves as a model for an engaged, yet rigorous study of complex social matters. Above all, the rich source materials upon which Barlow has drawn make for a vivid portrayal of American culture within and beyond its traditional power sources."

Rodger Cunningham

"In The Cult of individualism, Aaron Barlow offers an analysis of the current polarization in American political and cultural life—a historical analysis with a focus that heretofore has remained the preserve of academic specialists on the one hand and pop sociologists on the other. He traces the red-state 'cult of individualisM&Apos; to the culture brought by the Irish Protestant immigrants to colonial America, a culture with a centuries-old vexed relationship to the rest of Britain and America. This is an important book for those who want to understand the red-blue division and the inflections of the individualist myth on both sides, with a mind to breaking down the wall of mutual incomprehension and contempt that is endangering the republic."

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