What American Century?

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What American Century?

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Title: What American Century?
Author: Darnton, Robert
Citation: Darnton, Robert. 1999. What American century? European Review 7(4): 455-459.
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Abstract: As the year 2000 approaches there is a seemingly irresistible tendency to attach a label to the century that is ending. We here everywhere of “The American Century”, as if a stretch of time could belong to a country. Behind that expression, one can detect a set of attitudes, some of them holdovers from the nationalist sentiments that first surfaced in the nineteenth century, others expressions of anti-Americanism: if you don't like something about contemporary culture, blame it on the Yanks. In fact, most of the phenomena currently associated with America are global in nature, and the notion of an American Century makes little sense, except at the level of collective mentalities. Still, if one must associate a century with America, the best candidate would be the eighteenth. During the age of Enlightenment and Revolution, America epitomized everything enlightened and revolutionary. And Americans in Paris could bask in the glory of being identified not with McDonald's nor with Hollywood but rather with republican virtue and the rights of man. The real American century came to an end two hundred years ago.
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1062798700004385
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#LAA
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:3403040

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  • FAS Scholarly Articles [7374]
    Peer reviewed scholarly articles from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University
 
 

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