Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Back in the Good Old Days

From Instapundit, an article from Inside Higher Ed: Views: In Praise of the Americans, looking back at
a long-forgotten essay called “In Praise of the Americans” by Stephen Leacock, a Canadian political scientist and economist who was also one of the best-known humorists of his day. The essay appeared during the Great Depression, as the final word in an anthology intended to explain the United States to European readers.
 Leacock ends his essay (which appeared in a Literary Guild anthology entitled America as Americans See It)  with this:
All the world criticizes (Americans) and they don’t give a damn….Moralists cry over them, criminologists dissect them, writers shoot epigrams at them, prophets foretell the end of them, and they never move. Seventeen brilliant books analyze them every month; they don’t read them .… But that’s all right. The Americans don’t give a damn; don’t need to; never did need to. That is their salvation.
I'm trying not to imagine what such an anthology would look like today; I guess it depends on whether they were to get Sarah Palin or Barack Obama to set the tone...

Sent to you via Google Reader from my Droid while waiting for Mrs. Drang to finish vegetable shopping; edited when we got home.

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