The American Tapestry Project

We Question and Learn

About the Show

In the “American Tapestry: We Tell Ourselves Stories”, Andrew Roth explores the post-1968 shattering of the American story by asking “What is the ‘story of America’? Is there such a thing? Is there only one story, or are there many stories? If there are many stories, how are they woven, can they be woven, together to tell the story of America?”

Beginning with 1968’s – the worst year in modern American history -- shattering of the American story, the series explores the post-1968 culture wars, which are really competing stories about what America was, what America is and what America might become. Roth begins with the story of American Freedom: the many ways it has been defined, who it included and who it excluded; and how it came to be that American’s thought (think?) it their moral duty to make the world safe for democracy. The American Tapestry Project then proceeds to investigating “Freedom’s Faultlines”: stories of race and gender; to investigating “The American Dream”: success stories, how-to stories, Horatio Alger & a nation of ‘hustlers’; to investigating “The Immigrant’s Tale”: America’s continuing experiment in building a diverse society; and concludes with the “Fusion Story”: America’s fusing of Freedom’s Story, the story of self-government and the ongoing struggle between exclusion and inclusion, between ‘the few and the many’ with the Immigrant’s Tale into a rich tapestry of American stories describing the contentious but ever-expanding understanding of America’s founding documents; “We the People…”

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