Joseph O’Neill teaches at Bard and is the author of four novels, including The Dog and Netherland. His story collection, Good Trouble, was published last year. (December 2019)

IN THE REVIEW

No More Nice Dems

All Politics Is Local: Why Progressives Must Fight for the States

by Meaghan Winter

American Resistance: From the Women’s March to the Blue Wave

by Dana R. Fisher
The likes of Joe Biden and Barack Obama and Chuck Schumer seem actually averse to defeating Republicans. Unlike their opponents, they don’t appear to think that the job of Team Blue is to take on the other side as forcefully as possible. On the contrary: to this day, they apparently believe that Democrats should, whenever possible, bolster the GOP’s standing as a good-faith party with goals and principles as valid as their own. Their core mission is to practice a ceremonial innocence about the unshakable virtue of American conservatism—and to do so even as the worst, full of passionate intensity, are cleaning their clocks.

Real Americans

Mosammat Rasheda Akter (center), originally from Bangladesh, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance while holding her daughter after becoming a US citizen during a naturalization ceremony at the New York Public Library, July 2018

This America: The Case for the Nation

by Jill Lepore

This Land Is Our Land: An Immigrant’s Manifesto

by Suketu Mehta
Primordial America (at least in the popular imagination) was where folks prayed hard, worked hard on the land, and had rightful recourse to violence. In this imaginary place, people were white, Christian, English-speaking. They had God-given dominion over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. All of this inevitably informs the way American nationals apprehend one another and their country. They feel in their bones that some people are Americans and other people are merely citizens of the United States.