"The American dream is dead," Donald Trump said when announcing his candidacy for president in 2015. How would he revive it? By putting "America First".
'The American Dream' and 'America First' are two of the most loaded phrases in America today – and also two of the most misunderstood. As divides within America widen, historian Sarah Churchwell looks to the past to reveal what the surprising history of these two phrases can tell us about today.
"Churchwell's thoroughness in delineating America's decade-by-decade bigotry through primary sources from speeches to newspapers to novels is a marvel. But it is more than a history lesson. She's constructing the case for how the US elected Donald Trump, a catastrophe many of us struggle to understand." – Prospect Magazine
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Sarah Churchwell is Professor of American Literature and Chair of Public Understanding of the Humanities at the School of Advanced Study, University of London. She is the author of Careless People: Murder, Mayhem, The Invention of The Great Gatsby and The Many Lives of Marilyn Monroe. Her literary journalism has appeared widely in newspapers including the Guardian, New Statesman, Financial Times, Times Literary Supplement and New York Times Book Review, and she comments regularly on arts, culture, and politics for television and radio, where appearances include Question Time, Newsnight and The Review Show. She has judged many literary prizes, including the 2017 Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction, the 2014 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, and she was a co-winner of the 2015 Eccles British Library Writer's Award.
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