The history of the United States remains shrouded in the fog of myth and overlain by the mists of time. Here in the stygian gloom, its founding looms as the triumph of freedom over tyranny; its slaveholding the reasonable exploitation of an inferior race; its civil war the singular triumph of a great president; its period of reconstruction proof that former slaves were not ready to take their place in the country’s democratic institutions; and in Jim Crow a return to the natural order. Here, the great wealth of this country in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century is viewed as the result of American entrepreneurial genius and technical wizardry rather than its founding on the flagellated backs of African slaves.
Out of this venerable gloom, the Roaring Twenties shimmer as the best of times; the Great Depression rises up as a proving ground for the spirit and resourcefulness of the white population in tough times; the New Deal is established as the benevolent assurance of universal welfare; and, after Japan’s dastardly attack on Pearl Harbor, American industrial might and its greatest generation appear as the sole reason for the Allied victory in WWII. Its economic boom after the war is visible as the just fruit of that victory; its wars in Korea and Vietnam limned as vital to maintaining its freedom; its bestowal of Civil Rights upon African Americans faint proof of this country’s generosity and inclusivity.