The introduction opens with an April 4, 1967 speech in which Martin Luther King argued that patriotic defense of American ideals sometimes requires protest and dissent. It goes on to pose several questions about the nature of patriotism, drawing on King’s speech, the lyrics of popular patriotic songs, controversies concerning patriotism and sporting events, and examples from the post 9.11 “war on terror” and nativist-authoritarian populist challenges to liberal democratic values. What is patriotism? How is it related to nationalism, dissent, inclusion, civic responsibility, and a government’s legitimacy? Is there a genuinely virtuous form of patriotism? Should schools attempt to cultivate patriotism, and if so why, how, and with what conception of patriotism in mind?
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