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The American Way: Family and Community in the Shaping of the American Identity

(1 review)

Allan C. Carlson


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Book details

Allan C. Carlson a scholar and professor of history at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan. He is the president of the Howard Center, a director of the Family in America Studies Center, the International Secretary of the World Congress of Families and editor of the Family in America newsletter. He is also former president of the Rockford Institute and the author of many books including The American Way.

AUTHOR: Allan C. Carlson


SIZE: 5.5x8.5"

BINDING: Paperback

ISBN 10: 1952410940

ISBN-13: 9781952410949

PUB. DATE: May 3, 2022

Media: Paperback

People think that the story of America is the story of American individualism, thrift, and business. However, we almost never hear about how the family was central to the "American Way."

Look Inside the Book

In this short but gripping story about the family in twentieth century America, historian Allan Carlson describes how the family was central to public policy and to our national identity. From the activism of Theodore Roosevelt and the maternalists to the family values that made it possible for Germans to integrate successfully as Americans, this book shows how the family was at the center of the story of America.

Not only does this book tell the stories of men and women fighting for the family, but it explains why the family has declined in recent years. If you want to know why America is the way it is, both in its rise and decline, this book will open your eyes. 

What People Are Saying: 

"For more than half of the twentieth century, American leaders argued for "Americanism" with pro-family propaganda and policies. Theodore Roosevelt stumped for big families to produce soldiers for America's wars. German immigrant leaders strove to make "Germanic culture" predominate, via the Germanic family, in America's national self-conception. With measures aimed at preserving and promoting traditional families, female New Dealers labored to reestablish a national identity disoriented by the Depression. Publisher Henry Luce built a magazine empire (Time, Fortune, but especially Life) on the idea of the family as key to national consensus, something all Americans could "get behind." Cold war theorists insisted that stable families were essential to fighting Communism. For reasons as obvious as the U.S. entry in World War I and as subtle and various as resistance to government management, those five campaigns foundered, and the traditional family now seems irrelevant to American identity. Carlson keeps his counsel on that for the final pages; before then, citing reams of documents, he authoritatively recaps some forgotten history that is full of eye-opening fascination." ~Booklist

Customer Reviews

Based on 1 review
MaryKathryn S.
The American Way

This book shows how our society once honored and supported families, but how quickly that changed beginning in the 1960s and the disastrous consequences that have resulted.

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