America First! Its History, Culture, and Politics

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9780879759568: America First! Its History, Culture, and Politics
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Traces the past, present, and political future of America's nationalist movement, from its roots in the populism and isolationism of the early twentieth century to such contemporary figures as Ross Perot. 40,000 first printing. $40,000 ad/promo. IP.

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Bill Kauffman has been described by the Washington Post as having the "pleasantly wicked touch of H. L. Mencken". In America First!: Its History, Culture, and Politics, he examines the nineteenth-century underpinnings and the political eruptions of twentieth-century American nationalism, which promises to be the fault line along which policies of the next century will emerge. Kauffman recounts a fascinating story of nativist American culture, beginning with the populism of Hannibal Hamlin Garland and Amos R. E. Pinchot, which was distinguished by its opposition to militarism, big government, and concentration of wealth in the hands of a few and by its promotion of the common man. Even after the rise of the New Deal, which broadly expanded the power of government, and the growth of the American Empire, the populist song continues to be sung by many in this country: they decry, even at the risk of being called xenophobes, isolationists, and crackpots, what they see as reckless immigration policies and unchecked global intervention. In this wide-ranging book encompassing literature, politics, and popular entertainment, Kauffman looks at the lives and activities of such prominent exponents of the America First philosophy as Alice Roosevelt Longworth, Sinclair Lewis, Edward Abbey, Gore Vidal, Senator J. William Fulbright, and Jack Kerouac. He describes the Hollywood of the 1930s and 1940s, and how the film industry was used as a propaganda machine to end isolationist sentiments and to dragoon Americans into World War II. Also discussed are the 1992 presidential campaigns of "populist" candidates Pat Buchanan, Jerry Brown, and Ross Perot and the possible emergence of a third Americanpolitical party.

About the Author:

Bill Kauffman is the author of eleven books, including Dispatches from the Muckdog Gazette, which won the 2003 national “Sense of Place” award from Writers & Books, and Look Homeward, America, which the American Library Association named one of the best books of 2006. He also wrote the screenplay for the feature film Copperhead (2013). Kauffman is a columnist for The American Conservative. He and his family live in his native Genesee County, New York.

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