Two themes have always dominated the dialogue between Americans and Europeans. The first is America’s uniqueness; no place else on earth can compare with the great colossus of the New World. The second is that America is a forerunner of what European societies will become tomorrow. While the former idea presupposes that America is inimitable, the latter assumes that it inevitably foretokens the fate of all Western societies. The two assumptions are mutually exclusive: both cannot be true. Yet the very familiarity and plausibility of each is a reminder of how greatly our thinking about America is based upon contradictions, rather than upon logical analysis or the sceptical commonsense of a Philadelphia philosophe.
KeywordsAmerican Experience American Consumer American Visitor Aesthetic Subject Biblical Faith
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