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Un-American: The Fake Patriotism of Donald J. Trump, John J. Pitney Jr.

Reviewed by Verlan Lewis

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How can a man who hugs the American flag in front of thousands of adoring fans be un-American? This is the question that John J. Pitney Jr. answers in his new book on The Fake Patriotism of Donald Trump. As a professor of American politics at Claremont McKenna College, a lifelong conservative, and a former opposition researcher for the Republican National Committee, Pitney is the right man for the job. Professor Pitney begins the book by teaching his readers the most important features of the American political tradition and then proceeds to meticulously demonstrate, point by point, how Donald Trump’s entire life, including his short-lived political career, has been a repudiation of everything that makes America great.

Many political scientists, most of whom see the world very differently than Pitney and are more critical of America’s founding and history, may be tempted to assume that President Trump—with his racist rhetoric, history of sexual assault and misogyny, and scapegoating of immigrants—personifies the American political tradition. They would be wrong. While racism, sexism, and nativism are certainly a part of America’s past, they are not unique to the United States. They are found in countries all over the world and throughout history. What makes the United

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