- Paperback: 350 pages
- Publisher: University of Chicago Press; 1 edition (April 26, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 022637923X
- ISBN-13: 978-0226379234
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 23 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #252,591 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A War for the Soul of America: A History of the Culture Wars 1st Edition
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It doesn't matter where you fall on the political spectrum. As opposed to the current climate of gotcha journalism on tv and partisan essays in print that only divide Americans, this book equips the reader with the tools to engage in the intelligent discussions that our country needs to progress. This should be the goal of every American (and world citizen).
His review of race and the culture wars is excellent, and is his best chapter (better than his very good chapter on gender).
The book is, overall, his reading of the major arguments, and he does the job of synthesis. He provides an even handed reading of the American culture wars, but inevitably reveals the superiority and thoughtfulness of a liberal perspective of most situations compared to the right-wing approach which suffers more from unthinking dogma at times. Despite this, he remains an "objective" scholar.
The main flaw of the book--and it is a big one--is that the leftist bias of the author comes through in too many places. This of course makes one wonder if one is getting a fair look at all of the topics he covers in the book. For instance, in the one area I know something about--whether or not the bombing of Hiroshima was necessary--Hartman only presents revisionist historical arguments. He does not quote any of the many experts who present evidence showing that the bombing was absolutely necessary to save hundreds of thousands of American lives and millions of Japanese lives. So given this one area of distortion that I can verify, I have to wonder how distorted his presentation of other topics is.
Almost any reader whose politics are to the left of center will enjoy this book. More conservative-minded individuals will have to read the book with many grains of salt--and still will come away feeling that the presentation was biased and thus not convincing.