Archive for the ‘transnational history’ Category



April 14, 2006

What does [national] exceptionalism mean?

Is it a measure of degree? There’s distinctive, and then there’s even more distinctive: exceptional.

Agree/Disagree (please choose one): If you come up with a list of countries and compare them with each other, and it turns out that Country A is very distinctive, I suppose that makes Country A exceptional, except at the same time the act of making a list of comparable countries means that on another level Country A is not so exceptional as to be incomparable.

Statement (please mark only one blank per pair):


the question of American exceptionalism

_variation on a theme?

seems to produce scholarship that is


interesting for what it has to say about American history in general and


satisfying for the answer it gives to the the question: Is American history exceptional?

Update: Eric has a measured response here.