Last week I wrote about a book that was designed to give you a much needed escape from reality. A book that’s intended to entertain rather than change your world view.
Yale professor, Greg Grandin‘s The End of Myth is the opposite of that.
Grandin takes his readers through the history of American expansionism to the nation’s current desire to seal itself off with walls and boarders. You’ll journey through the seizing of land from the Native Americans, the Mexican-American war, our play at colonialism in Haiti, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, etc and our ever shifting definition of the word “frontier.” Grandin does a deep dive into the details and facts that most history classes skip over. And a lot of those facts and details are chilling at best, horrifying at worst.
However this book is not a blanket condemnation on our forefathers. Grandin thoughtfully explores the nuances and contradictions of Jefferson and Washington, good and bad. And if you don’t already have a sense of pride in our 6th President, John Quincy Adams, you certainly will after reading The End Of Myth.
Grandin is not an unbiased narrator. He clearly has strong feelings about the way capitalism is practiced in America, particularly in the way it manifested during our quest for land. He wants you to question what you think you know and take a closer look at our past and how it informs our current immigration and boarder policies.
Even if you don’t end up agreeing with all of Grandin’s take-aways you’ll still be better informed on how we became a nation of 50 States and 14 territories after reading his book. That’s important.
America is our home. She’s both our parent and our child so it’s important to take the time to really understand her. Learn from her and teach her. Honor her for her gifts and show her how to accept accountability for her mistakes. Do what we can to make her proud but bring out that tough love when she’s self-destructive or cruel. The End of Myth helps us toward those ends.
This one’s strongly recommended.