by LOUIS LA RUSSO II
Success, which William James called "the bitch goddess," has exerted a tripolar magnetic pull on most Americans. It is variously regarded with desire, fear and despair. The desire is to succeed. The fear is of failing to succeed. The despair is the feeling of emptiness, the loss of a rooted and perhaps better self after one has succeeded. The most distressing knowledge of all, of course, is to realize that you sought esteem in the eyes of others because you lacked it in your own.
That is the...