History, Reviews

Made in America gets the Page 99 Test

jacket imageMarshal Zeringue strikes again! Claude S. Fischer’s Made in America: A Social History of American Culture and Character is featured this week on Zeringue’s literary blog, the Page 99 Test. On the blog Zeringue asks authors to flip to page 99 of their books, summarize it, and then give a brief explanation of how it relates to the rest of the work.
One of the central arguments in Fischer’s book is that American “voluntarism,” or as Molly Worthen put it in a recent article for The New Republic, “an enthusiasm for community as long as membership is always by choice rather than obligation,” has been, since the days of the first European colonists, one of the defining forces shaping American culture. Page 99 of Fischer’s book takes up his discussion of this topic.
Click over to the Page 99 Test to read.
To read some pages other than page 99, see our excerpt.