|To the Flag: The Unlikely History of the Pledge, Softcover Price: $20.00 Write a review | No reviews for this product.|
Created against the backdrop of rapid immigration, the Pledge has continued for over a century to be injected into American politics at times of heightened anxiety over the meaning of our national identity. Ellis analyzes the text of the Pledge to tell how the very words "indivisible" and "allegiance" were intended to invoke Civil War sentiments-and how "with liberty and justice for all" forms a capsule expression of the American creed. He also examines the introduction of "under God" as an anti-Communist declaration in the 1950s, demonstrating that the phrase is not mere ceremonial Deism, but rather a profound expression of what has been called America's "civil religion."
The Pledge has inspired millions but has also been used to promote conformity and silence dissent. Indeed its daily recitation in schools and legislatures tells us as much about our anxieties as a nation as they do about our highest ideals. Ellis reveals how, for over a century, those who have been most fearful about threats to our national identity have often been most insistent on the importance of patriotic rituals. Indeed, by addressing this inescapable paradox of our civic life, Ellis opens a new and unexpected window on the American soul.
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