Magazine December 31, 2013, Issue

My American Dream

(© Swim Ink 2, LLC/Corbis)
How I fell in love with the United States

If you hang around a British person long enough, you are practically guaranteed to hear him make a derisive quip about Americans.

In all likelihood, he won’t even notice that he’s done it. I have been at many dinner parties at which it has been baldly stated, without embarrassment or regret, that Americans are “all fat” or “all stupid,” or . . . well, you can pretty much choose your epithet at random, and I have watched with irritation as the line was met with general agreement. It is a peculiar thing that reflexive anti-Americanism is tolerated in Britain and beyond

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In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Generation Gaps

A couple of times while writing this review I almost typed “Bill Clinton” instead of “Pat Conroy.” That’s not surprising. The former president and the bestselling novelist who wrote The ...
Politics & Policy

Broken Heartland

I was not entirely looking forward to Alexander Payne’s Nebraska, mostly because I worried that the movie, about an old man taking stock of his life on a Plains-state road ...
Politics & Policy

Built to Last

Has the Founders’ revival peaked? The big bios of the big names, now in big paperback editions, still sit on bookstore shelves, like Pleistocene megafauna, yet the subject stimulates feelings ...



The New Inequality

For about 47 minutes the president successfully moved the conversation to income inequality, the very existence of which proves that the fundamental transformation of America into a grey smear of ...
Politics & Policy


PICTURESQUE Rising ambitiously, they set a goal Of smoking out the red, reluctant sun, Which smolders like some just-embarrassed coal. Whatever looks to start has not begun, But still the clouds’ bombastic undersides – All glowing ...
Happy Warrior

Heading South

Whether or not Nelson Mandela was emblematic of the new South Africa, his memorial service certainly was. Thamsanqa Jantjie, the lovable laugh-a-minute sign-language fraud who stood alongside President Obama gesticulating ...
Politics & Policy


Appalachian Immigration Reading Kevin D. Williamson’s article (“Left Behind,” December 16) reminded me of my experience working with urbanized Appalachians in the Indianapolis neighborhood known as Stringtown back in the early ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Maybe Kim Jong Un’s uncle tried to talk to him about Obamacare over Thanksgiving. ‐ Supporters of Obamacare decided to start saying that the website is now basically working, never ...


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