The American Age is a salutary response to the disease at the core of American civic culture. It is a rejection of intellectual cynicism, historical amnesia, and the politics of dread. It is a rooster call to stir our fellow humanists awake.
Poets, philosophers, historians, devotees of the musae, no matter what grammar you don, we call you to arms.
Though scientists, industrialists, and well-meaning social engineers have secured life and liberty for a greater number of Americans than at any time in our history, we are failing to flourish as a people.
America’s imagination has enervated because we have failed to dream “America.” Its ambitions have languished because we have failed to speak for “America.” Its men lurch from adolescence to predatory entitlement because we have failed to discipline “America.”
“America” doesn’t belong to colonialists, capitalists, or slavers. America doesn’t belong to Donald Trump, or Oprah Winfrey, or Barack Obama, or Taylor Swift. America belongs to us. It belongs to you.
It is our responsibility to do something with it.
If we leave its imagining of the world to those intellectuals who have given up on the ideas of life, liberty, and the possibility of human flourishing, then the country will continue to fecklessly unspool. And if we leave its imagining to those who are evangelical about their own entitlement to history’s bounty, then our polity will surely curdle into tyranny.
It is our belief that the humanities should not drift too far from the concerns of the people who make humanistic inquiry possible. We should not forget to serve the people who clean the offices, fix the faucets, answer the phones, and process the financial requests. Not only the subaltern, but the working and burgher classes must be included in our imagined communities.
As a publication, The American Age dispassionately contextualizes the United States within the broader sweep of human social evolution by drawing on the latest research in anthropology and sociology. It also uses those insights to agitate for positive cultural and intellectual changes within and without American academic and political institutions.
This is not a place for utopianism, or regressive social Darwinism.
We hope to revive the critical concision and relevance of our best intellectual forebears by producing something that is light on jargon, big on existential concerns, and pragmatically engaged in improving people’s lives.
This is a place of intellectually honest, historically conscientious hope.