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EP PODCASTSXML

April 29, 2011

America's Exceptional Amnesia

From Battlefields Rising, coverAmerica may well be the only country in the world to have experienced full-scale modern warfare upon its territory but then, as a matter of national identity, to have failed to establish a coherent narrative explanation. For a set of fresh eyes I turned to Dr. Randall Fuller, author of From Battlefields Rising: How The Civil War Transformed American Literature (Oxford, 2011). It's a fascinating, tantalizing and profound book, wonderfully original, which I know many of you would thoroughly enjoy. Thanks, Randy! Total runtime forty four minutes. Historia vitae magistra.

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« Industrial Beginnings | Main | Possibilistic Judgment »



Comments

Great interview.

Listening to the author describe his sources as personal letters, journals, trunks filled with poems, etc. I am reminded once again just how fragile our history is becoming in this digital age. Email, digital photos, "cloud computing", none of these technologies has the persistence or availability of hand written documents. It's a problem, I think.

Yes, and yet the States has always been about the future, not so much the past, which is largely mythologized. It's the land of pragmatism, not culture, of engineers and gadgeteers and military adventure, and latterly of overfed and thoroughly media-driven entitled consumers. We have been very fortunate to have lots of land, lots of resources, lots of cheap immigrant labor. At the same time, I think the whole world is in the position of the sorcerer's apprentice: industrialism will be the end of us, as man capitulates to the machine and to quantity.

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