Confronting the world, shaping national identity

Johns Hopkins University Press Blog

Guest Post by Dane A. Morrison

morrisonISIS, Ebola, globalization, the Ukraine. State-sponsored terrorism, globally transmitted disease, worldwide economic disruption, fraught relations with overseas powers. The New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, and FOX News shout this constellation of dangers to even the casual, cowering observer. In response, we imagine better times and think of these troubles as symptomatic of a modern world that is more complex, more chaotic, more existentially fraught than anything our early American ancestors would have confronted. Today’s global problems challenge us as well to reflect on questions that are more deeply practical and philosophical, concerns that get to the crux of our national culture. How should we respond the array of challenges that confront us? And, what do our responses say about us as a people?

Those of us who read the past regularly, especially we who take America’s early encounters on the world stage…

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