The end of civic nationalism: literary edition

Steve Sailer notes that even an SJW version of the 88 books that shaped America tends to demolish the 20th century civic nationalist construct:

I like lists, so here is the 2012 Library of Congress list of 88 Books that Shaped America. It’s not supposed to be the best books, but the most influential, with lots of non-literary works. Despite obvious biases like blacks being vastly better represented than in reality, it’s not a bad list.

A few comments:

– Benjamin Franklin wrote 3 of the 88 books. The only other author with more than one book on the list is Harriet Beecher Stowe with 1.5.

– You can see the role of identity politics taking over as the list gets closer to the present. The last book on the list, one I had never heard of existing before now, was no doubt thrown on in panic when the list-makers realized they hadn’t checked a certain demographically sizable (but culturally insignificant) box.

– One striking thing is the lack of influence of Catholic writers until fairly recently…. This is in contrast to England, where Catholic writers, such as Alexander Pope, pop up even during eras of oppression. And America mostly lacks a literary tradition of converts to Catholicism, like Newman, Hopkins, Chesterton, Waugh, and Greene in England.

– Jewish writers were not major literary figures until roughly after WWII….

– Overall, the weight of Protestants on American culture is pretty overwhelming until the mid-20th Century. So, you can see why there is such a strong urge to retcon American history with heapings of Ellis Island Nation of Immigrants schmaltz to inflate the reputations of the ancestors of today’s top dogs.

Steve is nicer than I am, so he tends to say the same thing rather more politely. Translation: American culture is a white and Protestant culture. Period.

It’s not a nation of immigrants. It’s not a melting pot. It never was. And anyone who tells you otherwise is not only lying, but is usually doing so for reasons related to identity and self-interest.

Z-man’s comment indubitably won the Internet today: Maybe they should pick the 14 that really stand out.