Politicians and pundits make a great deal of the imperative for Americans to put aside political differences and unite as a nation. Calls for change and fresh approaches to politics beckon citizens to move beyond partisanship and special interests in a new spirit of togetherness. But how realistic is this desire? Isn't the very nature of democracy a process of taking sides? How unified has America been in its past? A casual look at U.S. history reveals a country riven with discord and disagreement. From fights between American revolutionaries and loyalists to the British Crown, to the bloody differences that caused the Civil War, to controversies over the Vietnam and Iraq Wars, Americans have always argued over important matters of state. A Culture Divided argues that such disagreements have not been evidence of a weakening country or the fraying of America. Rather, argument and disagreement are precisely the opposite. They are the very essence of a healthy democracy. Grounded in historical and contemporary research, A Culture Divided explores the history of political argument in the United States and asserts that democracy is alive and well in the current disputes in American culture.