The Nation That Never Was: Reconstructing America's Story

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One standard story about America is rooted in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Another story concerns America's moment of reckoning after the Civil War, when it was possible to believe that the country would transcend its racist roots. Kermit Roosevelt III argues here that today, with the country increasingly riven along violent divides, we can find a path forward by shifting our benchmarks from the first story, which fostered the Confederacy, to the second. America doesn't need to find a new usable past; it already has one: we don't live in the Founders' America-we live in Lincoln's

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