Thursday 26 Nov 2020 | 01:24 | SYDNEY
Thursday 26 Nov 2020 | 01:24 | SYDNEY

American exceptionalism


Allan Gyngell

7 November 2007 13:38

The current edition of the Atlantic Monthly, my favourite magazine, marks its 150th anniversary with a special edition on the American Idea.  Novelist and journalist Tom Wolfe surely wins the laurel wreath for American Exceptionalist of the Year for this superb example of the genre:

Only in America do visitors to other people’s homes routinely ask their hosts’ children, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  In every other country on earth the question would seem fatuous, since it implies that the child might have a world of choices.

(NB. The full text of Wolfe's article is available only to Atlantic subscribers.)