Essay: ON THE DIFFICULTY OF BEING A CONTEMPORARY HERO

" A HERO cannot be a hero unless in a heroic world," /V observed Nathaniel Hawthorne, who thought even in 1850 that America's world had turned unheroic. Thomas Carlyle felt that "Ballot-boxes and Electoral suffrages" might prove a fatal threat to heroes. Americans today find heroism daily in Viet Nam and high courage in a thousand situations, from space to civil rights. And yet there is a widespread feeling that the leap of imagination that makes heroes and the generosity of spirit that acknowledges them are disappearing. Can there be real heroes in...

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