Arnold Williams (notebuyer) wrote,
Arnold Williams

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De Toqueville and the Epigonos

The Atlantic Magazine hired Bernard Henri-Levy, a Frenchman, in an attempt to imitate DeToqueville: he's self-conscious about this, but, as it turns out, he does not share a civilization with Alexis De Toqueville, but instead shares one with modern France, which is no longer heir to the Enlightenment and Western Civilization. This leads to a shallow incomprehension and a pose of sophistication that is easily seen through by a thoughtful reader in the first of the series, and by the second I find that my main emotion is that I am embarassed for him. He knows so little, and is trying to describe so much!

Not worth the time to read. On the other hand, reading Christopher Hitchens in the same issue "on becoming American" is fascinating, and his take on John Brown leads me back to my history reading with fresh eyes. THAT is accomplishment.

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