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The One and the Many: America's Struggle for the Common Good (The Joanna Jackson Goldman Memorial Lectures on American Civilization and Government) Hardcover – April 26, 1997

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

With characteristic insight, wit, and eloquence, Martin Marty challenges us to rethink the cultural assumptions that form the very basis of American democracy Eschewing such hackneyed language as "culture wars" and "identity politics. " The One and the Many shows that national unity in a time of heightened diversity can only be achieved if serious attention is paid to narratives and rituals from which our nation has always drawn strength.

From Library Journal

On the back of a coin we read, "E pluribus unum"?out of many, one. But is it true anymore? Rev. Marty, Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago and an acclaimed commentator on religion and ethics in America, guides the general reader through the interplay of unity and pluralism?the striving for "community" amidst centripetal forces?to a broader understanding of "association" as motif and force in American culture. He shows how a cohesion of mind and affection emerges from shared experience, restoring the soul of the body politic. And he reminds us that this pluralistic phenomenon that is America is one experience we all share. A valuable study; for academic collections.?John R. Leech, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press; First Edition edition (April 26, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674638271
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674638273
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,019,334 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Debra A. Hepburn on November 18, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Below is a review of the One And The Many America's Struggle for the Common Good by Martin Marty. In the first section of the book, Marty presents the case of the "traumatization" of American society. Arguing that the manner in which different groups of people relate to each other destroys the concept of the one, Marty goes on to show how diverse group's need for identity is both necessary and destructive. The author asks several good questions during his initial discourse. How can groups remain respectful? How can they co-exist without shattering the illusion (my word) of unity that pervades our ethos as "One Nation Under God?" He continues to build a case from the thesis, "Trauma occurs as each group insists on its own identity and by promoting a mutually exclusive subculture at the expense of the common weal." Marty's pedagogical commitment is experienced as he attempts to define his use of certain language that he correctly assumes might not be common lingo for the reader. The book certainly provides thought provoking conversation and leads to continue study of the subject of America as a Nation State. Who are we? . . . (Property of the writer)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By arizidq on June 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Prof. Marty's book is a profound synthesis of the essential problem of America: how to unite our diverging cultures and interests into something common to all. Marty gives respect to the varied 'stories' that he speaks of and encourages us all to listen more to each of them. While I agree that listening is a good start, do not expect more tangible answers from The One and the Many. Such is the nature of the problem and this book. Overall, an excellent effort by an established scholar.
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