Magazine July 27, 2020, Issue

America, Warts and All

The Statue of Liberty (Getty Images)
Reflections on the most interesting country in the world

I grew up in a household in perennially corrupt Chicago, where all politicians were considered guilty until proven innocent. This seems to me even now a sensible standard, and well beyond the city limits of Chicago.

The one exception to this standard chez Epstein was during World War II, when my father was a strong supporter of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Even here, though, he was less for Roosevelt than against the American isolationism, which he detested, of Roosevelt’s opposition. Eager for the United States to join the war against the Nazis, not least to help stop the mass murder then in progress

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Joseph Epstein — Mr. Epstein is the author, most recently, of Gallimaufry, a Collection of Essays, Reviews, Bits.

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