America has been a subject of perennial fascination for European commentators, pundits, essayists, and even casual tourists. The long line of distinguished critics and observers includes Tocqueville, Harriet Martineau, Trollope, Bryce, and many others. We have been depicted as country bumpkins with the eternal bucolic, Boeotian attitude, as pursuers of the almighty dollar, as industrious farmers and laborers, as amoral or immoral, as uncouth savages, and even as sophisticated men of the world. To some extent we have been all these things. But the true essence of the country—its goals, its ideals, and its accomplishments-vary greatly with the eyes of the beholder. To those concerned by our obvious loss of first place in competition with the Russians in space and missiles and the real threat of our losing leadership in capturing the minds of the world, Bruckberger's searching, scholarly, and optimistic insights should reduce the gloom of the most inveterate
Bean WB. Image of America. AMA Arch Intern Med. 1960;106(1):149–150. doi:10.1001/archinte.1960.03820010151020
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