In America

John D. Leshy (UC Hastings): Are U.S. Public Lands Unconstitutional? Jerrold A. Long (Idaho): The Origins of a Rebellion: Religion, Land, and a Western Environmental Ethic. Ian C. Bartrum (UNLV): Searching for Cliven Bundy: The Constitution and Public Lands. The dark bounty of Texas oil: Will the booms and busts of the energy industry always dominate the state? Reverse cowboy: Myth is not history, and to see the invention of the former, we must understand the latter — how does what happened on the frontier compare with what we now imagine? Rebecca Solnit on the myth of a “real” America: Whose story (and country) is this? Zandria F. Robinson on when the South is everywhere and nowhere. The duality of the Southern thing: Rachel Bryan on the fall of Roy Moore and the rise of the better angels of Alabama. As goes the South, so goes the nation: History haunts, but Alabama changes. Why do we value country folk more than city people?

Ann Eisenberg (South Carolina): Rural Blight. Alone in America: Nobody is immune to our epidemic of separation and despair. What happens when capitalism and families collide: Ann Neumann interviews Alissa Quart, author of Squeezed: Why Our Families Can’t Afford America. “We are all accumulating mountains of things”: How online shopping and cheap prices are turning Americans into hoarders. Addison del Mastro on the slow death of the shopping plaza. American nostalgia on a bun: The burger, shake, and fries — “enduring icons of American cuisine” — are used to symbolize abundance, accessibility, and dominance while ignoring the dark side of those values.

The dark side of nice: D. Berton Emerson reviews American Niceness: A Cultural History by Carrie Tirado Bramen. The myth of the ugly American: Americans abroad are actually quick to defer to other cultures — it’s a result of our own multiculturalism, but is it a good thing? The problem with happy endings: From tidy stories of reunited migrant families to #PlaneBae, Americans’ bias toward optimism is a wonderful thing — until it’s not. Ryan Murphy (SMU): Psychopathy by U.S. State. Undoing one of twentieth-century America’s greatest political achievements: Win McCormack reviews The Fall of Wisconsin: The Conservative Conquest of a Progressive Bastion and the Future of American Politics by Dan Kaufman.

Roger Cohen on how far America has fallen. Peter Turchin on population immiseration in America. An autopsy of the American dream: Sean Illing interviews Steven Brill, author of Tailspin: The People and Forces Behind America’s Fifty-Year Fall — and Those Fighting to Reverse It. These should be the end times for American patriotism. America isn’t an idea, it’s a place with unique customs that people are proud of — why do country singers get this but so many scholars don’t?