Six myths lie at the heart of the American experience. Taken as aspirational, four of those myths remind us of our noblest ideals, challenging us to realize our nation's promise while galvanizing the sense of hope and unity we need to reach our goals. Misused, these myths allow for illusions of innocence that fly in the face of white supremacy, the primal American myth that stands at the heart of all the others.
About the Author
Richard Hughes is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at both Pepperdine University and Messiah College. He is the author, coauthor, or editor of more than a dozen books including Illusions of Innocence: Protestant Primitivism in America, 1630-1875 and Christian America and the Kingdom of God.
"It takes a whole lot of courage for white theologians and scholars to speak the truth about race. If we had more white theologians and religion scholars like Hughes who would break their silence about white supremacy and face it for what it is, we--together--could make a better world." -- James H. Cone, author of The Cross and the Lynching Tree
"The American national story is a myth, built on a series of myths that Richard Hughes reveals in this critical book. Myths America Lives By is a book we all need in order to understand ourselves, to understand our nation, to understand White supremacy."--Ibram X. Kendi, National Book Award-winning author of Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America
"Richard Hughes' Myths America Lives By was already required reading when it was released back in the pre-Trump era. With this update of his lacerating critique of the sordidness of American civil religion and other destructive myths, Hughes now indicts white supremacy as the foundational myth providing the most accelerant to those other myths that have burned through our history. Richard Hughes thinks hard and listens even harder to the historians, the scholars and, most of all, the prophets who understood the malignancy of white supremacy long before he did. The result is Myths America Lives By: White Supremacy and the Stories that Gives Us Meaning. Once again, Hughes' willingness to tell the truth about the myths we live by has put us all in his debt".--Tony Norman, columnist, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"For those of us who struggle to understand the racially charged polarities of today as well as the highs and lows of our American past, this book paints a heartbreaking, damning, and intimately clear picture." --Christian Chronicle
"Myths America Lives By is an essential read for those interested in shattering the cycle of racism and imaging a new way forward. The book strikes the perfect balance between intellectual knowledge and heartfelt story-telling." --Diverse
"Those who don't understand their history are destined to repeat it over and over again. If we want to break the cycle of American racism, we must confront our history and the myths that underlie it. Reading Richard Hughes's The Myths America Lives By is a good place to start. Well worth reading, and a useful primer for many college classrooms!" -- Beverly Daniel Tatum, author of Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations about Race