According to Robert Sirvent and Danny Haiphong, Americans have been exposed to fake news throughout our history--news that slavery is a thing of the past, that we don't live on stolen land, that wars are fought to spread freedom and democracy, that a rising tide lifts all boats, that prisons keep us safe, and that the police serve and protect.
Thus, the only "news" ever reported by various channels of U.S. empire is the news of American exceptionalism and American innocence. And, as this book will hopefully show, it's all fake.
Did the U.S. really "save the world" in World War II? Should black athletes stop protesting and show more gratitude for what America has done for them? Are wars fought to spread freedom and democracy? Or is this all fake news?
American Exceptionalism and American Innocence examines the stories we're told that lead us to think that the U.S. is a force for good in the world, regardless of slavery, the genocide of indigenous people, and the more than a century's worth of imperialist war that the U.S. has wrought on the planet.
Sirvent and Haiphong detail just what Captain America's shield tells us about the pretensions of U.S. foreign policy, how Angelina Jolie and Bill Gates engage in humanitarian imperialism, and why the Broadway musical Hamilton is a monument to white supremacy.
"Danny Haiphong and Roberto Sirvent are two of the most courageous and truthful intellectuals in the belly of the U.S. imperial beast! In this powerful text they lay bare the hidden realities and concealed miseries of poor and working peoples even as revolutionary fire remains strong! This book keeps alive so much of the best of the radical tradition in the neo-fascist age of Trump!"
--Cornel West, Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University
"American Exceptionalism and American Innocence is an immensely useful book for this moment. It is clearly written, full of compelling examples, and accessible. It will help readers who are angry and scared about Trump's agenda connect their reactions to the broader arc of US stratification and violence, and the resistance movements we need to study, bolster, and expand right now. This book addresses the essential task of exposing how opposition to US imperialism must be central to all our struggles for justice for marginalized populations and against the extraction practices that are poisoning the land and waters."
--Dean Spade, author of Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics, and the Limits of Law
"A varied offering of America's real history, with sharp arguments and revealing information drawn down through the centuries--a rich treat for both beginners and the well-informed." --Michael Parenti, author of History as Mystery and Contrary Notions
"American Exceptionalism and American Innocence does what is so needed in this, the late stage of American Empire - it blasts a hole through the notion that the US is some unique beacon for democracy and freedom in the world, and that it is therefore privileged to intervene throughout the world at will. Rather, as this book demonstrates, the US has never been such a beacon, either nationally or internationally. The US was built on genocide and slavery, and, accordingly, has invaded weaker countries to impose systems which protect the privileged few from the just demands of the struggling masses. The result has been vast inequality and suffering in both the US and abroad, and the undermining, if not wholesale destruction, of democracy. As this book show us, US Empire is the greatest threat to the survival of humanity, and it is only the citizens of the US who can, and indeed must, dismantle it." --Dan Kovalik, author of The Plot to Scapegoat Russia and The Plot to Attack Iran
Roberto Sirvent, Ph.D., J.D., is a Professor of Political and Social Ethics at Hope International University in Fullerton, California.
Danny Haiphong is an activist and a regular contributor to The Black Agenda Report.