Barbarian Virtues by Matthew Frye Jacobson
The United States Encounters Foreign Peoples at Home and Abroad, 1876-1917

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Synopsis

A brilliant examination of national identity in a crucial period

The United States first announced its power on the international scene at the Centennial Exhibition in 1876 and first demonstrated that power during World War I. The years in between were a period of dramatic change, when the dynamics of industrialization rapidly accelerated the rate at which Americans were coming in contact with foreign peoples, both at home and abroad.
In Barbarian Virtues, Matthew Frye Jacobson shows how American conceptions of peoplehood, citizenship, and national identity were transformed in these crucial years by escalating economic and military involvements abroad and by the massive influx of immigrants at home. Drawing upon a diverse range
of sources--not only traditional political documents but also novels, travelogues, academic treatises, and art--Jacobson demonstrates the close relationship between immigration and expansionism. By bridging these two areas, so often left separate, he rethinks the texture of American political life in a keenly argued and persuasive history. Barbarian Virtues shows how these years set the stage for today's attitudes and ideas about "Americanism" and about immigrants and foreign policy, from Border Watch to the Gulf War.
 

About Matthew Frye Jacobson

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Matthew Frye Jacobson, associate professor of American studies at Yale, is the author of Whiteness of a Different Color and Special Sorrows. He lives in New York.
 
Published April 12, 2000 by Hill and Wang. 336 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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Jacobson takes this as his text, seeing Roosevelt's ironic blend of smug contempt for foreign cultures and self-doubt regarding his own as emblematic of the US approach to foreigners during its `age of empire.` The author first looks at the America's economic relationship to foreign peoples, both...

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A sense of moral outrage simmers throughout Barbarian Virtues, an outrage that tacitly informs Jacobson's exploration of U.S. attitudes toward immigration and foreign policy (which he sees as two side

Apr 03 2000 | Read Full Review of Barbarian Virtues: The United...

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A sense of moral outrage simmers throughout Barbarian Virtues, an outrage that tacitly informs Jacobson's exploration of U.S. attitudes toward immigration and foreign policy (which he sees as two sides of the same coin) in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but which is kept from boiling ove...

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