3: Text excerpts from American music scholar Sheryl Kaskowitz, 2014.
In her 2014 book God Bless America: The Surprising History of An Iconic Song, Sheryl Kaskowitz traces the history of "God Bless America" from its original conception in 1913, to its use across the political and cultural spectrum today.
Suggested Activity: Read the excerpts aloud with students and then discuss: How can one song be used for such vastly different political means? Why do you think people across the political spectrum have found “God Bless America” so potent for their causes? Is the malleability of Berlin’s lyrics a testament to his skill or a sign of his weakness as a song-writer?
Source: Sheryl Kaskowitz, God Bless America: The Surprising History of an Iconic Song (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), 78-80.