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The Roots of American Loyalty, by Merle Curti

- Abstract

Most historians of American thought are confronted with at least two possible approaches to their themes: they can concentrate upon the idea in its relationship to the individuals expressing it, with particular stress upon the motivations involved; or else they can center upon the ebb and flow of ideas in a broad historical panorama. Professor Curti has adopted the latter approach as the most practical for his particular task, and has based his account of the historical evolution of American loyalty “on an extensive investigation of materials, published and unpublished, letters, files of newspapers and periodicals, government documents, Fourth of July orations, and fugitive pieces, on belles lettres, on works of art, and on the few secondary reports on American patriotism.”

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