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Culture

This Independence, Day Read Up On Irving Berlin, Hotdogs And The Impeachment Clause

On Thursday July 4, our plucky republic marks 243 years of independence. For those celebrating, the holiday offers a day of introspection in which to consider our country’s path through history — and also fireworks and hotdogs. If you’re looking to fill your day with some compelling reading material with a Jewish bent, the Forward has you covered. Here are four articles for your Independence Day enjoyment.

1) How did Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America” become a formidable American anthem?

Forward contributor Eileen Reynolds explains how a sheet of music pulled from Irving Berlin’s wastebasket became a pervasive American classic and a staple of baseball games.

2) What if Irving Berlin’s most American song wasn’t “God Bless America?”

In a fascinating counterpoint, Forward Contributing Editor Jake Romm makes a case for the American roots of a deep cut from the maestro of Tin Pan Alley: A tune named not for America, but for Russia.

3) On the merits of Hebrew National

For fans of cylindrical meat, Shira Feder has enumerated the reasons that the Hebrew National hotdog is the perfect meal with which to ring in our freedom.

4) Reflect on contemporary America by taking stock of its past

Constitutional law wonks may want to take a look at the Forward’s interview with Cass R. Sunstein, the author of the recently updated primer “Impeachment: A Citizen’s Guide.” Sunstein argues that the Impeachment Clause is inseparable from the atmosphere of America’s founding and central to the framers’ understanding of another “I word”: Independence.

Happy reading and happy Fourth of July!

PJ Grisar is the Forward’s culture fellow. He can be reached at [email protected].

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