By Bernard-Henri Lévy
What does it suggest to be an American, and what can the United States be this present day? to reply to those questions, celebrated thinker and journalist Bernard-Henri Lévy spent a yr touring during the nation within the footsteps of one other nice Frenchman, Alexis de Tocqueville, whose Democracy in the United States continues to be the main influential ebook ever written approximately our nation.
The result's American Vertigo, a desirable, thoroughly clean examine a rustic we occasionally merely imagine we all know. From Rikers Island to Chicago mega-churches, from Muslim groups in Detroit to an Amish enclave in Iowa, Lévy investigates matters on the center of our democracy: the precise nature of yank patriotism, the coexistence of freedom and faith (including the faith of baseball), the legal procedure, the “return of ideology” and the future health of our political associations, and masses extra. He revisits and updates Tocqueville’s most crucial ideals, equivalent to the risks posed by means of “the tyranny of the majority,” explores what Europe and the USA need to research from one another, and translates what he sees with a novelist’s eye and a philosopher’s intensity.
Through robust interview-based pix around the spectrum of the yank humans, from criminal guards to priests, from Norman Mailer to Barack Obama, from Sharon Stone to Richard Holbrooke, Lévy fills his e-book with a tapestry of yank voices–some clever, a few stunning. either the grandeur and the hellish dimensions of yankee existence are unflinchingly explored. and large topics emerge all through, from the an important offerings the US faces at the present time to the underlying truth that, in contrast to the “Old World,” the United States is still the success of the world’s wish to worship, earn, and stay as one wishes–a position, regardless of all, the place inclusion continues to be not only a fantastic yet an exact practice.
At a time whilst american citizens are nervous approximately how the area perceives them and, certainly, willing to make experience of themselves, an excellent and sympathetic international observer has arrived to aid us commence a brand new dialog concerning the which means of the US.
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Additional info for American Vertigo: Traveling America in the Footsteps of Tocqueville
Collier and Levitsky 1997; From Democracy Promotion to Cooperation 27 Diamond 2002; Gilbert and Mohseni 2011; Wigell 2008), spurring a renewed research agenda on authoritarian politics of survival (Posusney and Penner Angrist 2005). Carefully designing and controlling the legal framework for elections, political parties, and civil society, the incumbent regimes succeeded in co-opting oppositional actors and creating ‘divided structures of contestation’ (Albrecht 2007; Lust-Okar 2005; 2006; Lust-Okar 2007: 40; Posusney 2005; Pratt 2007; Schlumberger 2007b).
Severe limitations to statehood, however, undermine the regime’s sheer ability to engage with international actors. This would effectively prevent the joint implementation of any measures of cooperation, for example during a civil or international war. A minimum level of statehood might therefore be a necessary, but not sufﬁcient, precondition for cooperation. Finally, asymmetries in socio-economic interdependence between the EU and its Mediterranean partners, giving the EU a more or less important role as a donor and trade partner, are expected to be only a secondary concern in the formation of preferences.
In addition, Freedom House assigns annually the status of ‘free’, ‘partly free’, or ‘not free’ to each country and territory, depending on the current rating and changes over time. An additional source considered to conﬁrm and nuance this assessment is the World Bank’s Worldwide Governance Indicator (WGI) for ‘Voice and Accountability’, available for the period 1996–2008. It measures ‘perceptions of the extent to which a country’s citizens are able to participate in selecting their government, as well as freedom of expression, freedom of association, and a free media’ (Kaufmann et al.