History

Sarah Churchwell: Behold, America: A History of America First and the American Dream

Sun 25 Nov / Quarterhouse

What does it mean to put America first, and what exactly are Americans supposed to be dreaming of - personal wealth, public power, racial equality, political refuge, individual freedoms? What happens when these values collide?

'America first' and the 'American dream' were born nearly a century ago and instantly tangled over capitalism, democracy and race. Invoked most recently in Donald Trump's presidential campaign, they came to embody opposing views in the battle to define the soul of the nation.

Sarah Churchwell recounts the unknown history of these two expressions using the voices that helped shape that debate, from Capitol Hill to the newsroom of the New York Times, students to senators, dreamers to dissenters.

As America struggles again to project a shared vision, Sarah Churchwell argues that these terms need to be understood afresh so that the true spirit of America can be reclaimed.

Insightful and revelatory, Behold, America overturns everything we thought we knew about the American dream, America first and the battle for the identity of modern America.

5.00 pm/ £8 / Friends & concessions £7 / early bird £6

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