What does it mean to be "American"? What are the books that have had the greatest impact on U.S. history and culture? How can fiction illuminate the hard truths of American life?
There’s a common story we tell about America: that our fundamental values as a country were stated in the Declaration of Independence, fought for in the Revolution, and made law in the Constitution. But, with the country increasingly divided, this story isn’t working for us anymore—what’s more, it’s not even true. However, as Professor Roosevelt argues in this eye-opening reinterpretation of the American story, our fundamental values–particularly equality–are not part of the vision of the Founders. Instead, they were stated in Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and were the hope of Reconstruction.