By Bernard-Henri Lévy
What does it suggest to be an American, and what can the US be this day? to reply to those questions, celebrated thinker and journalist Bernard-Henri Lévy spent a 12 months touring through the state within the footsteps of one other nice Frenchman, Alexis de Tocqueville, whose Democracy in the US is still the main influential ebook ever written approximately our nation.
The result's American Vertigo, a desirable, thoroughly clean examine a rustic we occasionally basically imagine we all know. From Rikers Island to Chicago mega-churches, from Muslim groups in Detroit to an Amish enclave in Iowa, Lévy investigates matters on the middle of our democracy: the targeted nature of yankee patriotism, the coexistence of freedom and faith (including the faith of baseball), the criminal method, the “return of ideology” and the well-being of our political associations, and lots more and plenty extra. He revisits and updates Tocqueville’s most crucial ideals, corresponding to the risks posed by way of “the tyranny of the majority,” explores what Europe and the USA need to study from one another, and translates what he sees with a novelist’s eye and a philosopher’s intensity.
Through strong interview-based graphics around the spectrum of the yankee humans, from felony guards to priests, from Norman Mailer to Barack Obama, from Sharon Stone to Richard Holbrooke, Lévy fills his ebook with a tapestry of yank voices–some clever, a few stunning. either the grandeur and the hellish dimensions of yank existence are unflinchingly explored. and massive subject matters emerge all through, from the an important offerings the United States faces this present day to the underlying truth that, in contrast to the “Old World,” the USA is still the success of the world’s wish to worship, earn, and reside as one wishes–a position, regardless of all, the place inclusion is still not only an excellent yet a precise practice.
At a time while americans are worried approximately how the area perceives them and, certainly, prepared to make experience of themselves, a super and sympathetic international observer has arrived to assist us start a brand new dialog in regards to the which means of the US.
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Extra info for American Vertigo: Traveling America in the Footsteps of Tocqueville
First, it is, questionable whether or not the economic transformation has been as successful as many have argued, particularly in terms of its impact on people’s standard of living. Second, less debatable are the impacts of the post-2007 economic crisis in Central and Eastern Europe. Some declines in gross domestic product (GDP) occurred in 2008 but more serious falls were seen in 2009, ranging from 18 per cent in Latvia to 6 per cent in Hungary, with Lithuania, Estonia and Romania somewhere in between.
Jasiewicz, K. (2007) ‘The Political-Party Landscape’, Journal of Democracy, 18 (4), pp. 26–33. Kitschelt, H. (2001) ‘Accounting for Post-Communist Regime Diversity. ’ In Transformative Paths in Central and Eastern Europe, ed. R. Markowski and E. Wnuk-Lipin´ski. Warsaw: Institute of Political Studies/Friedrich Ebert Foundation, pp. 11–46. , D. Fuchs and J. Zielonka, eds (2006a) Democracy and Political Culture in Eastern Europe. London: Routledge. ——, —— and —— (2006b) ‘Introduction: Support for Democracy and Autocracy in Eastern Europe’.
According to the slightly different ratings of Nations in Transit, eight of the new EU members are also now regarded as consolidated democracies, excluding only Bulgaria and Romania. Russia, however, is no longer transitional and now has a consolidated authoritarian regime, as has Belarus. Most of the partly free countries (the exception is Bosnia) are also seen as semi-consolidated democracies (Nations in Transit 2009). So the bulk of Central Europe has democratized successfully, and things are now moving in a positive direction in much of the West Balkans.
American Vertigo: Traveling America in the Footsteps of Tocqueville by Bernard-Henri Lévy