Politics

2019
Lepore, Jill. 2019. “Don't Let Nationalists Speak for the Nation.” New York Times. Article
Lepore, Jill. 2019. “Bound to Win: Memoirs of presidential candidates.” The New Yorker, May 20, 2019. Article
Lepore, Jill. 2019. “The Robot Caravan: automation, A.I., and the coming invasion.” The New Yorker, March 4, 2019. Article
Lepore, Jill. 2019. “The Fireman: Eugene V. Debs and the endurance of socialism.” The New Yorker, February 18, 2019. Article
Lepore, Jill. 2019. “A New Americanism: Why a Nation Needs a National Story.” Foreign Affairs March/April. Article
This America: The Case for the Nation
Lepore, Jill. 2019. This America: The Case for the Nation. New York: Liveright. Book Abstract

From the acclaimed historian and New Yorker writer comes this urgent manifesto on the dilemma of nationalism and the erosion of liberalism in the twenty-first century.

At a time of much despair over the future of liberal democracy, Jill Lepore makes a stirring case for the nation in This America, a follow-up to her much-celebrated history of the United States, These Truths.

With dangerous forms of nationalism on the rise, Lepore, a Harvard historian and New Yorker staff writer, repudiates nationalism here by explaining its long history—and the history of the idea of the nation itself—while calling for a “new Americanism”: a generous patriotism that requires an honest reckoning with America’s past.

Lepore begins her argument with a primer on the origins of nations, explaining how liberalism, the nation-state, and liberal nationalism, developed together. Illiberal nationalism, however, emerged in the United States after the Civil War—resulting in the failure of Reconstruction, the rise of Jim Crow, and the restriction of immigration. Much of American history, Lepore argues, has been a battle between these two forms of nationalism, liberal and illiberal, all the way down to the nation’s latest, bitter struggles over immigration.

Defending liberalism, as This America demonstrates, requires making the case for the nation. But American historians largely abandoned that defense in the 1960s when they stopped writing national history. By the 1980s they’d stopped studying the nation-state altogether and embraced globalism instead. “When serious historians abandon the study of the nation,” Lepore tellingly writes, “nationalism doesn’t die. Instead, it eats liberalism.” But liberalism is still in there, Lepore affirms, and This America is an attempt to pull it out. “In a world made up of nations, there is no more powerful way to fight the forces of prejudice, intolerance, and injustice than by a dedication to equality, citizenship, and equal rights, as guaranteed by a nation of laws.”

A manifesto for a better nation, and a call for a “new Americanism,” This America reclaims the nation’s future by reclaiming its past.

 

“A sharp, short history of nationalism.... A frank, well-written look at the dangers we face. We ignore them at our peril.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

 

“Urgent and pithy… Readers seeking clear and relevant definitions of political concepts will appreciate this brisk yet thorough, frank, and bracing look at the ancient origins of the nation state versus the late-eighteenth-century coinage of the term ‘nationalism’ and its alignment with exclusion and prejudice.” — Booklist

“A hopeful book for all who believe that America's ideals are stronger than our demagogues.” — Michael Bloomberg

 

Lepore, Jill. 2019. “Hard News: the state of journalism.” The New Yorker, January 28, 2019. Article
2018
Lepore, Jill. 2018. “This America.” The New Yorker, November 12, 2018. Article
Lepore, Jill. 2018. “Misjudged: How Justice Ginsburg overcame the distrust of feminists.” The New Yorker, October 8, 2018. Article
Lepore, Jill. 2018. “The Hacking of America.” The New York Times. Article
2018. “The Attack on Democracy.” Morning Edition. NPR, Sep 12 2018. Audio
Lepore, Jill. 2018. “Back to the Blackboard: Do students have constitutional rights?” The New Yorker, September 10, 2018. Article
Lepore, Jill. 2018. “It Was Never Thus.” The New Yorker, September 3, 2018. Article
2017
Lepore, Jill. 2017. “Dead Weight: The burden of the corpse.” The New Yorker, October 16, 2017. Article
Lepore, Jill. 2017. “The History Test: How Should the Courts Use History?” The New Yorker, March 27, 2017. Article
Lepore, Jill. 2017. “Inquietude.” The New Yorker, October 9, 2017. Article
Lepore, Jill. 2017. “No,we cannot.” The New Yorker, June 5, 2017. Article
Lepore, Jill. 2017. “The Strategy of Truth.” The New Yorker, June 5, 2017. Article
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