America, beginning as a small group of devout Puritan settlers, ultimately became the richest, most powerful Empire in the history of the world, but having reached that point, is now in a process of implosion and decay. This book, inspired by Frankfurt School Critical Theory, especially Erich Fromm, offers a unique historical, cultural and characterological analysis of American national character and its underlying psychodynamics. Specifically, this analysis looks at the persistence of Puritan religion, as well as the extolling of male toughness and America's unbridled pursuit of wealth. Finally, its self image of divinely blessed exceptionalism has fostered vast costs in lives and wealth. But these qualities of its national character are now fostering both a decline of its power and a transformation of its underlying social character. This suggests that the result will be a changing social character that enables a more democratic, tolerant and inclusive society, one that will enable socialism, genuine, participatory democracy and a humanist framework of meaning. This book is relevant to understanding America’s past, present and future.
Lauren Langman and George Lundskow
Cicero Araujo and Gabriela Nunes Ferreira
José María Hernández
Origins, Ideas and Practices
Edited by Francisco Colom González and Angel Rivero
This volume addresses the political traditions that flourished in regions traditionally neglected by Atlantic history, but which are nevertheless indispensable for a comprehensive interpretation of political modernity. The history of political liberty simply cannot be reconstructed without taking into account the role of the Atlantic as a space for the circulation of ideas. The different chapters trace the origins of the Atlantic notions of liberty in the crisis of the colonial world, in the diverse processes that led to independence from the metropolis, and in the subsequent efforts to build a constitutional order. The book takes an innovative approach by putting together experiences of the English, Portuguese, and Spanish Atlantic and by dealing with political ideas as discursive and socially embedded practices.