January 26, 2012
Harvard Law School Professor Laurence Tribe '66 is among the leading scholars and writers featured in the latest volume of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ journal Daedalus, entitled "On the American Narrative."
The volume focuses on the viability of the American Dream—the belief that upward mobility is within reach of all who work hard and play by the rules. According to many of the contributors, that dream is in jeopardy in the face of political and economic turmoil and fundamental demographic shifts.
In his essay, “America’s Constitutional Narrative,” Tribe argues that the country is less a place than a story or “a cluster of hundreds of millions of stories.” According to Tribe, “We, the People” is the result of ongoing contests between competing narratives and constitutional meaning.
The “On the American Narrative” volume explores many of the threads that create the country’s “master story,” including American exceptionalism and the role of the Constitution as the nation’s “operating manual”—topics that are emerging as themes of the 2012 presidential election campaign. The volume was edited by Denis Donoghue, Professor of English and American Letters at New York University, with contributions from 14 scholars and writers, including E. L. Doctorow of New York University, novelist Gish Jen and historians David Levering Lewis, of New York University, and William H. Chafe, of Duke University.
Print and electronic copies of the Winter 2012 Daedalus can be ordered at: http://www.amacad.org/publications/back_issues.aspx
Founded in 1955, Daedalus draws on the enormous intellectual capacity of the American Academy, whose members are among the nation's most prominent thinkers in the arts, sciences, and the humanities, as well as the full range of professions and public life.