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Publisher's Summary

From writer and political analyst Jared Yates Sexton comes an eye-opening journey through American history that unearths and debunks the myths we've always told ourselves. 

Recent years have brought a reckoning in America. As rampant political corruption, stark inequality, and violent bigotry have come to the fore, many have faced two vital questions: How did we get here? And how do we move forward?

An honest look at the past - and how it’s been covered up - is the only way to find the answers. Americans in power have abused and subjugated others since the nation’s very beginning, and myths of America’s unique goodness have both enabled that injustice and buried the truth for generations. In American Rule, Jared Yates Sexton blends deep research with stunning storytelling, digging into each era of growth and change that led us here - and laying bare the foundational myths at the heart of the American imagination. 

Stirring, unequivocal, and impossible to pause, American Rule tells the truth about what this nation has always been - and challenges us to forge a new path. 

©2020 Jared Yates Sexton (P)2020 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about American Rule

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  • Laurie
  • 28-09-20

Truth

I agree with about 95 percent of what he’s written. I’ve been exposed to most of these phases of American history from other reading and I’ve been asking myself lately, “Where is the greatness? What is American exceptionalism based on?” This book confirmed my doubts and fears.

I would have shifted some of the emphasis in this book from race to class. Sexton correctly identified the founders’ fears of the common people and the fact that they designed our Constitution and system of government around keeping the will of the common people at bay. We’ve been dealing within those boundaries ever since. While race is a crucial dividing line between the common people, it’s not the source of our collective sickness. A government that works against all of us and that is in thrall to the most wealthy and powerful - that is the source.

The book lacked solutions. That’s my other criticism of it. It was gloom and doom from beginning to end. There were very few glimmerings of light in his tale of American history and little hope for the future. It’s a horror story. Be scared. Be very scared —, is the takeaway message here.

How do we start again? How can we fix this? I still don’t know.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Reader of Law Books
  • 25-09-20

Nobel Lie and the Myth of American Exceptionalism

Informative! Cogent overview of the country's WS foundation and how WS are now intent on destroying it to maintain WS. Interesting history about Lincoln's evolving campaign platform. The narration is excellent. I wish the book went deeper into today's WS movement, the similarities with the country's conditions before the civil war, and how the country may be ripe for another.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 17-09-20

Historical truth we need to hear

I loved every chapter from our past to our present. Every American needs to listen to this book to understand how we got here and how we can rise to be the democracy we thought we were, but always failed to be.

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  • NIck
  • 19-02-21

sound premise but conclusions based generalization

liked the title but struggled to finish it. questionable conclusions supported by weak anecdotal and unfocused evidence . could have been better.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 28-01-21

great

great commentary on current political and economic situation. interesting take on American history for a Canadian

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  • Anzil Ellison
  • 27-01-21

Brilliant

Fair, honest, and objective. Amazingly told. A must read for all those who truly care about the direction of our country.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 19-01-21

Fantastic Book. Impeccably written, Highly Recommend

American Rule is an impeccably written, painfully relevant book that rips the veil off the historical roots that have led us to this modern crisis. Weaving the story-not-often-told of the people, ideas and myths that have shaped the American consciousness and revealing the fascistic roots that are coming to bear in this moment. A fantastic analysis of both the past and the now and an essential guide for understanding where we are as a people, a body politic and a nation.

The narration is excellent. Highly recommend this book (also Jared Yates Sexton’s podcast The Muckraker which follows the themes of this book with the happenings of the day)

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  • JD
  • 17-01-21

Eye-opening, if a bit biased

You can hear the echoes of Trump from the first chapter and the agenda is pretty apparent, but that doesn't mean that the historically accurate letters and essays are false or made up. The narrative is a bit too clean and straight forward for a perfectly true history, but the insights are still valuable. Coming from a White American Evangelical background, the history lesson was helpful and necessary.

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  • LLroomtempJ
  • 23-12-20

great read

helpful traversal/analysis of the false narratives we tell about ourselves as a country.

Yates keeps it pretty objective and informative throughout. highly recommend if you're looking to flesh out your understanding of american history

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  • love55
  • 21-11-20

A True History

You may not agree with everything in this book, but this book will challenge your preconceived notions on American History and cause you to truly take stock in where we (The USA) are at a nation, how we came to be here, and where we need to go from here.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 07-11-20

A very good listen for a divided time

This audiobook clearly and concisely takes us through the processes that led to the age of the fascist demagogue, now ex-US President Donald Trump.

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  • Simon Gibson
  • 01-11-20

The Demise of America.

The road to the death of American objective reality and rise of right wing driven untruth, bigotry, conspiracies and authoritarianism. This is a superb overview of America today, 2020, and how it got here from its day of independence in the 18th century.