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Great empire, little minds: the American mythology that enabled Donald Trump

The rise of Trump was facilitated by America's obsession with "greatness," as two new books remind us

By Diane Roberts   August 2018

Protesters demonstrate against President Trump's immigration ban at Portland International Airport. Photo by Alex Milan Tracy/PA

“Greatness” is the essence of the American brand. We are great because we are good and good because we are great: a land of liberty and opportunity, a nation favoured by God. That’s what we Americans tell ourselves, at least, though lately the story’s been sounding a trifle shopworn. The current occupant of the Oval Office got there by promising voters he’d make America “great again.” But after 18 months of posturing “greatness,”…

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