Images of America: A Political, Industrial and Social Portrait

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2009-04-15
  • Publisher: Routledge

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"Either America is the hope of the world, or it is nothing.There are those who have begun to despair of the West.It is for them that I am writing." Bruckberger’s book hasbeen compared by many to Tocqueville’s Democracyin America. In both works, Americans see themselvesthrough the sympathetic, sometimes critical eyes ofa Frenchman. Bruckberger, as chaplain general of theFrench Resistance during World War II, was a scholar wholived a life of action, and a priest who knew the life of thespirit. He begins with a celebration of the American past,but also offers a clear warning for the future.The book was written after Bruckberger’s eight years inthe United States, during which he thought deeply aboutthe country, and came to love and admire it. He sees whatothers have not, and his heroes are, in most instances, notthe ones normally chosen. As seen from the perspective ofthe old Europe, the ideas and ideals that have shaped thehistory and character of America, take on a new meaning.The result is an image of America that is as enlighteningas it is surprising.Bruckberger believes America brings to the Westernheritage an essential spark, one vital for the angry andperilous post-World War II world, and one equally importanttoday. That is America’s regard for the individual,for the non-abstract, living human being. This theme,contrasted with what Bruckberger sees as the heresy ofEurope-the subordination of human beings to abstraction-is developed with wit and insight.

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