By Bernard-Henri Levy
What does it suggest to be an American, and what can the United States be at the present time? to reply to those questions, celebrated thinker and journalist Bernard-Henri L?vy spent a 12 months touring through the nation within the footsteps of one other nice Frenchman, Alexis de Tocqueville, whose Democracy in the USA continues to be the main influential ebook ever written approximately our kingdom. the result's American Vertigo, a desirable, absolutely clean examine a rustic we occasionally in basic terms 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 concerns on the center of our democracy: the designated nature of yank patriotism, the coexistence of freedom and faith (including the faith of baseball), the felony process, the “return of ideology” and the well-being of our political associations, and lots more and plenty extra. He revisits and updates Tocqueville’s most crucial ideals, comparable to the risks posed via “the tyranny of the majority,” explores what Europe and the USA need to study from one another, and translates what he sees with a novelist’s eye and a philosopher’s intensity. via robust interview-based photos around the spectrum of the yank humans, from legal guards to monks, from Norman Mailer to Barack Obama, from Sharon Stone to Richard Holbrooke, L?vy fills his booklet with a tapestry of yank voices–some clever, a few stunning. either the grandeur and the hellish dimensions of yank lifestyles are unflinchingly explored. and large topics emerge all through, from the the most important offerings the US faces at the present time to the underlying fact that, not like the “Old World,” the United States continues to be the success of the world’s wish to worship, earn, and reside as one wishes–a position, regardless of all, the place inclusion is still not only an incredible yet an exact practice.At a time whilst americans are nervous approximately how the area perceives them and, certainly, willing to make experience of themselves, an excellent and sympathetic international observer has arrived to aid us start a brand new dialog in regards to the that means of America.From the Hardcover variation.
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Additional resources for American Vertigo: Traveling America in the Footsteps of Tocqueville
The worst thing here is the factory. It was once a modern enterprise, and the region's heart. All that's left are cone-shaped mounds of coal or iron in lots overgrown with weeds. Extinguished chimneys. Blackened, unmoving freight cars. Warehouses with broken windows. And inside one of the warehouses, which I sneak into: sagging armchairs; shelves of twisted metal where files have been left; yellowed photographs of beaming employees, confident of the eternal greatness of their factory; crumpled copies of The Buffalo News; charred plastic gas masks; on one wall, an assembly of manometers, barometers, steam gauges, rubber thermometers eaten away by humidity; clocks—I count four—all stopped at the same hour.
Here, not only will he not give way, not only will he keep going at his imperturbable pace, sure of his right of way, but you'll see through his window, if youfinallymanage to pass him, his indignant, alarmed, incredulous look: "Hey! Big and little, we're all in this together! " A real lesson, in the field, in equality of conditions, where we French flaunt our social distinctions, our privileges. " There we are. ON THE ROAD Le Voyage en Amérique = 39 Another incident, mid-afternoon, no less Tocquevillean: seized by a strong need to piss and tired of Starbucks, McDonald's, and Pizza Hut, where there are almost always signs telling you the name of the guy who "cleaned this bathroom with pride" and the name of the "supervisor" whom you should call "for comments and compliments," I ask Tim to let me off at the edge of a quietfieldbathed in sunlight.
He fumbles with unemployment rates and the number of primary school teachers in Ohio. He has, in his expression, in his eyes, which are set too close together, that faint look of panic that dyslexic children have when they think they're going to make a mistake and will be scolded for it but simply can't stop once they've started. He frowns with concern when he talks about the city's poor neighborhoods. Takes on a fake tough-guy look when he broaches the subject of Iraq. When he utters the word America or army, he stops short or, rather, stiffens as if at the sound of an invisible bugle.
American Vertigo: Traveling America in the Footsteps of Tocqueville by Bernard-Henri Levy