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Jill Lepore, Harvard historian and New Yorker staff writer, offers a wry and bemused look at American history according to the far right, from the "rant heard round the world", which launched the Tea Party, to the Texas School Board's adoption of a social-studies curriculum that teaches that the United States was established as a Christian nation. Along the way, she provides rare insight into the 18th-century struggle for independence - the real one, that is. Lepore traces the roots of the far right's reactionary history to the bicentennial in the 1970s, when no one could agree on what story a divided nation should tell about its unruly beginnings.
Behind the Tea Party's Revolution, she argues, lies a nostalgic and even heartbreaking yearning for an imagined past - a time less troubled by ambiguity, strife, and uncertainty - a yearning for an America that never was. The Whites of Their Eyes reveals that the far right has embraced a narrative about America's founding that is not only a fable, but is also, finally, a variety of fundamentalism - anti-intellectual, antihistorical, and dangerously antipluralist.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Madeleine Foote on 03-09-15
Fantastic, well researched and even handed
Generous even to the insane, idiotic and ignorant. I enjoyed it immensely and found the research thorough and engaging. History for the public at its best
1 of 1 people found this review helpful