By Bernard-Henri Levy
What does it suggest to be an American, and what can the US be this present day? to respond to those questions, celebrated thinker and journalist Bernard-Henri L?vy spent a yr touring in the course of the state within the footsteps of one other nice Frenchman, Alexis de Tocqueville, whose Democracy in the USA is still the main influential ebook ever written approximately our nation. the result's American Vertigo, a desirable, totally clean examine a rustic we occasionally purely imagine we all know. From Rikers Island to Chicago mega-churches, from Muslim groups in Detroit to an Amish enclave in Iowa, L?vy investigates matters on the center of our democracy: the distinctive nature of yank patriotism, the coexistence of freedom and faith (including the faith of baseball), the criminal approach, the “return of ideology” and the healthiness of our political associations, and lots more and plenty extra. He revisits and updates Tocqueville’s most vital ideals, corresponding to the hazards posed through “the tyranny of the majority,” explores what Europe and the US need to examine from one another, and translates what he sees with a novelist’s eye and a philosopher’s intensity. via strong interview-based photos around the spectrum of the yankee humans, from felony guards to monks, from Norman Mailer to Barack Obama, from Sharon Stone to Richard Holbrooke, L?vy fills his e-book with a tapestry of yankee voices–some clever, a few stunning. either the grandeur and the hellish dimensions of yankee existence are unflinchingly explored. and large subject matters emerge all through, from the an important offerings the USA faces this day to the underlying fact that, not like the “Old World,” the US is still the success of the world’s wish to worship, earn, and dwell as one wishes–a position, regardless of all, the place inclusion is still not only an incredible yet an exact practice.At a time while american citizens are frightened approximately how the area perceives them and, certainly, willing to make feel of themselves, an excellent and sympathetic overseas observer has arrived to assist us commence a brand new dialog in regards to the that means of America.From the Hardcover variation.
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Extra resources for American Vertigo: Traveling America in the Footsteps of Tocqueville
Oh! Jewish. Oh! Atheist. That's okay. . Everyone does what they want. . In this business you have to like ninety-nine percent of your clients. . " The breakfast was a little long. But now I'm in the immense museum, completely disproportionate to the dollhouses in the rest of the town, where this great national sport is honored, this sport that contributes to establishing people's identities and that has truly become part of their civic and patriotic religion, which is baseball: Isn't there, in the Hall of Le Voyage en Amérique = 27 Fame adjoining the museum, a plaque devoted to those champions who interrupted their careers to serve in American wars?
A response to that trauma whose violence we Europeans persist in underestimating but which, three years later, haunts American minds as much as ever? Should we reread those pages in Tocqueville on the good fortune of being sheltered by geography from violations of the nation's territorial space and come to see in this return to the flag a neurotic abreaction to the astonishment that the violation actually occurred? Or is it something else entirely? An older, more conflicted Le Voyage en Amérique = 23 relationship of America with itself and with its national existence?
At other times, Dresden or Sarajevo. An observer who knew nothing of the history of the city and the riots that, forty years ago, accelerated the exodus of the white population to the suburbs might think now that he was in a bombed metropolis. But no. It's just Detroit. It's just an American city whose inhabitants have left, forgetting to close the door behind them. It's just this experience, unique in the world, of a city that people have left as one leaves a spurned partner and that, little by little, has returned to chaos.