- Historic Sites
The American Century
The English journalist has spent more than a decade preparing a book on this country’s role in the most eventful hundred years since the race began. He liked what he found enough to become an American himself.
September 1998 | Volume 49, Issue 5
Will the cavalry always show up in time? Will the twenty-first century be the American Century as well?
Back at the beginning of the twentieth century, a lot of people who were very despondent, particularly foreign visitors like H. G. Wells and Rudyard Kipling and expatriates like Henry James, wondered how it could possibly succeed, this diverse, tumultuous mob united not by any tribal connections but only by the idea of America.
The interesting thing is that the anxiety is still there: the anxiety that newer Americans, the newer immigrants, will not share a sense of national identity, that the United States will no longer be a unified country but only a set of multicultural blocs. It is really the same challenge, the main challenge of America that places it at the center of human events: Can we get past the age-old divisions, the racial and ethnic feuds, and stay one nation, united around the eternal ideals of human rights, and liberties, and freedom of speech? My answer is yes.