The Spirit of 1976
Commerce, Community, and the Politics of Commemoration
Published by: University of Massachusetts Press
The end result of these competing efforts, Tammy S. Gordon shows, was a national celebration that reflected some common themes, including a mistrust of federal power, an embrace of decentralized authority, and a new cultural emphasis on the importance of the self. The American Revolution Bicentennial can thus be seen as both a product of the social and political changes of the 1960s and a harbinger of things to come. After 1976, the postwar myth of a consensus view of American history came to an end, ensuring that future national commemorations would continue to be contested.
"An insightful piece of scholarship that raises important issues regarding the study of public uses of the past."—John Bodnar, author of Remaking America: Public Memory, Commemoration, and Patriotism in the Twentieth Century
"Illuminating . . . Tammy S. Gordon's sanguine conclusions about the 'Spirit of 1976' being 'revolutionary' in its individualism and diversity are intriguing."—Journal of American History