Essay: An American Optimist

An American Optimist

All across the world, America is still regarded as the home of optimism. But nations, no less than individuals, are often negligent of their blessings. This year marks the centenary of one of the republic's most bountiful and boundless founts of optimism; yet the occasion is more likely to be marked abroad than in the U.S. Henry Miller -- his middle name was Valentine -- was born the day after Christmas, 100 years ago, and spent the next 88 years as a professional enthusiast, making a living out of pleasure and a music out of saying yes. Where an Old World...

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