Pericles and 'Big Bill' Thomson

James Ceaser's Reconstructing America locates the "real America" in the ideas and values of the Founders. But a purely political conception of America is inadequate.

Issue: Spring 1999

 James Ceasar, Reconstructing America: The Symbol of America in Modern Thought (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997).

Canadian couch potatoes naturally enjoy curling up with a book attacking the United States; the more fit among us even enjoy writing them. It is unclear how large a market James Ceaser can expect to command up here in my adopted country, as he has gone so far as to write a book repelling criticism of the United States. If it's any consolation, what at first appears a resounding vindication proves in the end a somewhat ambiguous one.

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