Along with a special issue on American literature, the London Times Literary Supplement last week paid the U.S. a handsome compliment. "Nowhere," it announced, "in the modern world is there a more rewarding literature than that which America has to offer." But in its ensuing lengthy analysis, the Times also had some sharp observations—and a few reservations—about U.S. culture and character in general. Among them:

WITH Hawthorne the exploration of Americanness, as something mysteriously different from any other national quality, is well under way . . . Its existence conditions the whole of American literature . . . The Englishman...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!