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Atlantic Monthly

American exceptionalism

This month finds the Atlantic (formerly the Atlantic Monthly) celebrating its 150th anniversary. To mark this august occasion, the editors asked a large number of notable figures to comment on “the future of the American idea.” I admit to being disappointed upon discovering that what they referred to was the idea of America, rather than the state of ideas in the U.S., but it still caught my eye. What it turned out to be was essentially an exercise in hobbyhorse riding, with people tending to express a few ideas about whatever is their area of interest (Edward O. Wilson wrote Read more