What Trump's Slick Catchphrase Really Means

12/4/2015 - History Professor Eric Rauchway in Salon.

Whether justifying foreign intervention because of the Unites States’ inherent virtue or proclaiming the need to “make America great again,” the notion that our country is uniquely moral and righteous has been circulating lately. It’s a macho, pumped-up variation of the idea of “American Exceptionalism” – the notion that the Puritans, the American Revolution, widespread Christianity, the vast open spaces, or some other element makes the country politically and culturally different than others. It doesn’t always mean that the U.S. is free to defy international rules and standards, but it’s only a quick jump to that kind of conclusion.

Where does this potentially dangerous idea come from, and where does it lead?

Salon spoke to Eric Rauchway, a historian at the University of California at Davis and the author of the book “Blessed Among Nations,” which looks at what makes the U.S. different from other countries. His new book is “The Money Makers: How Roosevelt and Keynes Ended the Depression, Defeated Fascism, and Secured a Prosperous Peace.”

Read the full story in Salon.