The past three years (and beyond) have shown us a deluge of horrific news headlines: stolen elections, fascist rallies, families torn apart and locked away. A common refrain erupts at each new atrocity: This isn't who we are. In American Rule, Jared Yates Sexton lays bare the foundational myths at the heart of our collective American imagination. From the very origins of this nation, Americans in power have abused and subjugated others; enabling that corruption are the many myths of American exceptionalism and of steadfast values that are fed to the public and repeated across generations. Working through each era of American growth and change, Sexton weaves together the origins and perpetuation of these narratives still in the public memory, and the acts we have chosen to forget. Stirring, deeply researched, and disturbingly familiar, American Rule is a call to examine our own misconceptions of what it means, and has always meant, to be an American.