Are you grateful to be an American? Would you like to know why America is an exceptional country? Do you feel the basic values Americans have lived by are being degraded? Would you like to understand why and how this is happening? Do you think the federal government is out of control and taking from the States constitutional rights which belong to them? Do you think the national debt needs to be curbed in fairness to future generations? Would you like to learn why America is not doomed to decline and new facts about America’s unique history and geography?
If you replied “yes” to any of these questions, AMERICA’S CULTURE Its Origins and Enemies, A Synopsis, by John Harmon McElroy, was written for you.
The author is a professor emeritus of the University of Arizona who also taught at Clemson, Wisonsin-Madison and, as a Fullbright Professor of American Studies, at universities in Brazil and Spain. He has presented papers before the American Studies Associations of Argentina and France and has taught at the English Seminar in Poland.
John Harmon McElroy’s other non-fiction books include Finding Freedom, a study of the historical factors which produced America’s exceptional culture; American Beliefs, an analysis of the culture’s content; and Divided We Stand on anti-Americanism in America. He has also edited a history of Columbus and a chronicle of Walt Whitman’s experiences in the Civil War.
McElroy did his undergraduate work at Princeton and before taking his PhD at Duke had two years of sea duty in the U.S. Navy, North Atlantic Fleet. He and Onyria Herrera Diaz married in Havana in 1957. They live in Tucson, Arizona.
AMERICA’S CULTURE Its Origins and Enemies, A Synopsis
John Harmon McElroy’s book AMERICA’S CULTURE Its Origins and Enemies, A Synopsis, explains what has made America so exceptional; how the beliefs that Americans have historically lived by are being degraded; and why the U.S. government is thumbing its nose at the U.S. Constitution and running up a debt which will destroy America if the spending is not curbed. Why America can be saved from further cultural degradation is also discussed in this celebration of America’s greatness.
American Beliefs: What Keeps a Big Country and a Diverse People United
Why do so many different people with widely dissimilar ideas and customs get along as Americans? In American Beliefs, John McElroy identifies and explains those essential ideas that promote the unity of a vast nation and a diversified people―because they have been shared and acted upon by generations of Americans. Tracing these beliefs historically from their origins in the earliest experiences of the American colonists, Mr. McElroy shows how they became continuing convictions that together form a pattern distinct from those of other peoples. Work, he argues, shaped the primary beliefs of Americans, for the task of the early settlers was first of all to survive in a new wilderness. He then goes on to discuss beliefs that grew from the experiences of immigrants, from life on the frontier, and from the ideas that Americans developed about religion and morality, politics, human nature, and the workings of society. It is not birthplace or skin color that makes a person an American, Mr. McElroy observes, but a common behavior based upon principles of freedom and equality, individuality and responsibility, improvement and practicality. American Beliefs is a book greatly needed, a powerful antidote to decades of historical and political writings that have concentrated on the differences among Americans.
What readers are saying about American Beliefs:
“Over the years I have read hundreds of books about America and this book is clearly one of the most stunning. In general, the book is well researched, well organized, and very readable. It explains America to Americans and to the world in a different and very clear and convincing way. Through most of the book I was enthralled. Most of his examples are well chosen, precise, concise, and convincing.”
“I agree that every American should read this book — and everybody else for that matter. I don’t agree that it’s scholarly. Rather, it’s a joy to read — easy to understand even for a person with two master’s degrees! It’s the best history book I’ve ever read, the best history course I’ve ever taken or taught. I’m buying it for my home library for my grandchildren to use as a resource.”
Finding Freedom: America’s Distinctive Cultural Formation
Seeking to determine precisely what it means to be an American, John Harmon McElroy compares the cultural history of the United States with the cultural histories of Brazil, Canada, Europe, and Spanish America.McElroy demonstrates that American culture is the least European of the four continental cultures developed after 1492. He believes the essential variance stems from the fact that the United States is populated by people and their descendants who chose the United States as home. In contrast, because immigration to Canada, Brazil, and South America was controlled by the European governments, they reflect a stronger European cultural outlook and orientation than the United States.
Divided We Stand: The Rejection of American Culture since the 1960s
American culture is on life-support. Beginning in the 1960s a generation of activists twisted and bent long-held American beliefs into an ideology of blame and political correctness-weakening and disrupting the nation. As John Harmon McElroy powerfully demonstrates, the counter-culture has become pervasive, with devastating results. He shows how we neglect to educate our children and call it “teaching self esteem;” how we assail the worth of America and call it respecting “diversity;” and how we refuse to take responsibility for our lives and call it “social justice.”
In tracing the roots and impact of the counter-culture’s rejection of historical American beliefs, McElroy powerfully defends the bedrock principles of responsible individualism, practical improvement, and equal freedom under God.
What readers are saying about Divided We Stand:
“This is the most scintilating analysis of our cultural dilemmas I have come across. In short, the book blew me away by its depth and comprehensive grasp of the changes to American culture brought on by the 60’s. Others have written many volumes on the crucial issues of our time which Dr. McElroy outdoes in slightly over 200 pages. If you care for the well being of our nation, buy and study this book.”
“Dr. McElroy discusses the foundation of the American culture back to the landing of the Pilgrims, through the Revolution (the Constitution), the Civil War, the War To End All Wars, and WWII; a great history refresher. To know and understand history is a protection of the American culture. Our descendants deserve the heritage envisioned and ordained by the founders, our legacy.”
The Sacrificial Years: A Chronicle of Walt Whitman’s Experiences in the Civil War
In Late 1862, at the height of the Civil War, the poet and former newspaperman Walt Whitman traveled to a Virginia base camp in search of his wounded brother. The unattended misery he found there — rows of unburied corpses, piles of amputated limbs, wounded men lying on the frozen ground — moved him to (as he wrote) “a profound conviction of necessity” that he had to help relieve it. Whitman spent the next four years, at great personal and professional sacrifice, working as a voluntary nurse at military hospitals in the frontline capital of Washington, tending the sick and wounded well past the war’s end.The Sacrificial Year, is Walt Whitman’s story of his involvement in the Civil War, and of his thoughts and feelings about this great crisis. Whitman himself never kept a diary of his experiences — a fact he later regretted — but he did write hundreds of letters, newspaper articles, and “memoranda.” While many of these works have been published individually, editor John Harmon McElroy is the first to select and arrange Whitman’s prose writings on the war in chronological sequence — including previously unpublished extracts from his recently discovered Civil War notebook — thereby reconstructing a continuous narrative of his month-to-month experience in his own words.Poignant and powerful, encompassing all the horror and scope of that immense conflict, Walt Whitman’s war chronicles are among the essential documents of those crucial years. This edition contains nearly 300 entries, and is further enhanced with over 50 compelling period photographs of the places, people, and events that Whitman captured so vividly in his prose.