I'll be teaching a class at the Freie Universität this summer on this topic, in the North American Studies department. I am wondering what I should have them read. So far I am considering:
1. Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America.
2. Class: A Guide Through the American Status System, by Paul Fussell.
3. The American Religion, by Harold Bloom.
4. John Gunther, Inside U.S.A.; a longstanding favorite of mine.
5. State by State: A Panoramic Portrait of America, by Matt Weiland and Sean Wilsey.
6. American Exceptionalism: A Double-Edged Sword, by Seymour Martin Lipset.
7. Peter Baldwin, The Narcissism of Minor Differences: How American and Europe are Alike. I disagree with the premise of this book but nonetheless it may shake them out of their dogmatic slumbers.
8. Louis Hartz, The Liberal Tradition in America.
Albion's Seed is an excellent book but it is too long. What have I forgotten? Should I have more on Mormons?