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How American Idol took us from 9/11 to Donald Trump

This article is more than 2 years old.

Over its 15 years on air, the American Idol talent show offered a mirror to an America dealing with the trauma of the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent wars and economic upheaval. In the video above, ethnomusicologist Katherine Meizel traces how the extravaganza enabled the country to reaffirm what it is to be American.

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