Life in the Charm Lane

It has often been my fate—perhaps the expatriate's fate in general, perhaps merely the self-hater's—to be against things. As an American, I have frequently seemed anti-American; as an educated person, I'm often anti-intellectual. When I taught at Harvard, I was anti-Harvard. All of which makes me, I suppose, a rather good European, since

Europeans are, at heart, suspicious of every form of belonging, and great believers in la vie non-conformiste et individuelle.

These days more than ever, Europeans seem to harbor immense suspicion, if not disdain, toward the U.S. As former Russian President Mikhail...

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