Against the Day Weblog

November 27, 2006


Filed under: Notes,Questions — basileios @ 11:25 am

‘But here was this hall full of Americans, no question, even the foreign-born if you thought about where they had come from and what they must’ve been hoping to find over here and so forth, American in their prayers anyway,…’

page 50.

It was a always a bit of a mystery to me the essence of an ‘American’ in such a diverse in its origins nation as the USA. Some years back I came to the conclusion that its the ‘common beliefs’ (to a flag, country and future) that constitute ‘the American’ and not heritage of any kind, language, history, look or political belief. In 1893, the time this passage refers to, the American nation had just over 100 years of existence as a separate entity and although I do find this passage slightly surprising for this timeframe (but maybe because I am not American) it somehow feels like a key statement for the American psyche.


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