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Loren Baritz’s “God’s Country and American Know-How” Essay

In Loren Baritz’s “God’s Country and American Know-How”, it briefly describes the birth of our nation, characteristics, and theories through out America’s history. “America would become god’s country” (435) is not only the title of the summary but the basis of our founding father’s thoughts. In the begin only few words were spoken of the outside world, problems consisted within our borders that had to be dealt with. These included Indians, witches, and worst of all shrewd Yankees. The “new world was puny” (436) and could not be the protector of the free world. World War One was a large factor that increased American thinking of the “invincible war machine”(440) these thoughts continued up till World War Two, Americans now knew they we were superior, with the development of nuclear weapons technology has proven their superiority on the battlefield.

JFK, Eisenhower, and George F. Kennan are just some of the examples Loren quotes from, but these great men show the change in American views and opinions. “We went to war in Vietnam in the name of ideas, of principles, of abstractions.”(438), this statement is only the beginning of America’s “city on a hill” (435) beliefs. Soon after the Vietnam War began the thinking changed from “United States could not be beaten in war” (440) to “Vietnam should have taught us that we could not continue to play the role of moral advisor and moral enforcer to the world” (437). Loren shows the readers not only the birth of our nation, but how Americans have gone from isolated to protector of free nations, and a World Power. By supporting his thoughts with quotes and grave description this story will not only open your mind to your thinking but to the thoughts of the nation we live in today.

Works Cited

Baritz, Loren. “God’s Country and American Know-How”

Real Culture; contexts for critical reading and writing.

Ed. Diana George and John Trimbor. 5th Ed.

New York: Parison Longman, 2004. 434-41


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