Andrew Yarrow “Measuring America”
March 11th, 2011
America is Number One! Or maybe we’re number two and trying harder. Or perhaps we’ve slipped to number three or five or … but why does it matter so much? When did a ranking on a list determine America’s greatness?
For most of our history, argues U.S. history professor Andrew Yarrow, ideas about what made America distinctive were generally framed in terms of a liberal idealism, not our material abundance. Since World War II, however, the nation’s booming economy was the yardstick by which we measured our greatness as a nation. That may have worked fine when we were number one, but how does it affect our national psyche when some other nation has a better bottom line? His book is called Measuring America.
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