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.
 (August 2019)

IN THE REVIEW

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.