In his final State of the Union address, President Obama called America “the most powerful nation on Earth,” saying, “When it comes to every important international issue, people of the world do not look to Beijing or Moscow to lead—they call us.” President Obama is hardly the first leader to talk about American exceptionalism. But just how “exceptional” is America? And why does it matter? In this episode of BackStory, we’ll go behind the rhetoric to unpack the history and meaning of the term and assess the changing meanings of “American exceptionalism” over time.
Stefan Fatsis, Josh Levin, and Mike Pesca discuss the thrilling first round of the NBA playoffs. They also talk about the NFL draft and how teams assess prospects’ “red flags.” Finally, they consider the career of Sports Illustrated writer Gary Smit