City on a hill : a history of American exceptionalism / Abram C. Van Engen
- Van Engen, Abram C., 1981-
- Additional Titles:
- History of American exceptionalism
- New Haven : Yale University Press, 
- Physical Description:
- ix, 379 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
- Introduction: The birth of a story -- Message: The mystery of Winthrop's manuscript -- The significance of Winthrop's Bible -- The meaning of Winthrop's city on a hill -- Materials: A true history of America -- A providential history of America -- A white history of America -- Myths: The rise of national history -- The spread of national pilgrims -- The creation of an exceptional New England -- Methods: Antiquarian America -- Puritan stock -- The Mayflower Compact versus a model of Christian charity -- Models: Creating a usable past -- A meaning to match its force -- Perry Miller's city on a hill -- The American Jeremiad -- American exceptionalism and America first -- Coda: The death of a sermon.
- In this illuminating book, Abram Van Engen shows how the phrase "City on a Hill, " from a 1630 sermon by Massachusetts Bay governor John Winthrop, shaped the story of American exceptionalism in the twentieth century. By tracing the history of Winthrop's speech, its changing status throughout time, and its use in modern politics, Van Engen asks us to reevaluate our national narratives. He tells the story of curators, librarians, collectors, archivists, antiquarians, and often anonymous figures who emphasized the role of the Pilgrims and Puritans in American history, paving the way for the saving and sanctifying of a single sermon. This sermon's rags-to-riches rise reveals the way national stories take shape and shows us how those tales continue to influence competing visions of the country - the many different meanings of America that emerge from its literary past--Book jacket.
- 9780300229752 (hardcover ; alk. paper)
0300229755 (hardcover ; alk. paper)
- Bibliography Note:
- Includes bibliographical references and index.
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