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The United States as a Divided Nation

Past and Present

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Edited By Marcin Grabowski, Krystof Kozák and György Tóth

Is the U.S. as a country still capable of finding common ground and effective policy responses in the 21 st century, or are the dividing lines within U.S. society actually becoming too deep and too wide to bridge, with potentially grave consequences for American social, political as well as economic development? This book discusses important contemporary U.S. wedge issues such as gun rights, racial and economic inequality, the role of the state, the politics of culture, interpretations of history and collective memory, polarization in national politics, and factionalism in domestic and foreign policy. It provides readers with conceptual tools to grasp the complexity of the current processes, policy formation, and political and social change under way in the United States.
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In No One We Trust: Memorialization and Communicative Pathologies in Amy Waldman’s The Submission

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Why should we …Keep law and form and due proportion,Showing as in a model our firm estate,When our sea-walled garden, the whole land,Is full of weeds, her fairest flowers choked up,Her fruit trees all unpruned, her hedges, ruined,Her knots disordered, and her wholesome herbsSwarming with caterpillars.

RICHARD II, William Shakespeare

Il faut cultiver notre jardin

CANDIDE, Voltaire

Opened to the public in 2011, the 9/11 Memorial in New York City represents a new stage in the memorialization process taking place within the American culture and society. The monument complex both reifies the public emotions triggered by the event, and represents the nation’s search for a manner in which the trauma can be worked through. The monumental pools that mark the previous foundations of the Twin Towers and recreate the collapse of the buildings are surrounded by and contrasted with a garden, which consists of four hundred trees that go through seasonal changes and continue to grow.1 The monumentality of the pools, which the architect Michael Arad has referred to as “voids,” evokes the trauma suffered, while the tree garden, which has been intended to incorporate the daily life of the city and invite passers by to repose,2 could be interpreted as representative of life as it goes on in spite of the tragedy. At the same time, the tree-garden makes visible the inevitable, soothing effects of time, change, and renewal over the development of...

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