Musings on A Nation of Reinvention: Background information when reading Beautiful Country Burn Again

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Beautiful Country Burn Again

Democracy, Rebellion, and Revolution

by Ben Fountain

Beautiful Country Burn Again by Ben Fountain X
Beautiful Country Burn Again by Ben Fountain
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2018, 448 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 17, 2019, 448 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Rebecca Renner
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About this Book

Musings on A Nation of Reinvention

This article relates to Beautiful Country Burn Again

PhoenixIn Beautiful Country Burn Again, author Ben Fountain posits that the United States reinvents itself to survive times of extreme crisis. He believes that these severe times of change happen approximately every 80 years, making the Civil War the first great reinvention, followed by the Great Depression and the New Deal in the 1930s, and landing for now, finally, at our shocking 2016 election. But what exactly constitutes a reinvention? For Fountain, it seems to have two distinct parts – the crisis that holds the nation teetering on the precipice and the response and recovery from it. Like his title suggests, a reinvention is much like a phoenix, burning to the ground only to eventually rise up brand new from its own ashes.

To understand this structure, it is useful to examine the crisis that triggered the reinvention period prior to the one Fountain argues we are now in—the Great Depression. Triggered by the stock market collapse of 1929 and the waves of droughts in the ...

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