Anybody Recognize This Place?

All the ideas that used to make up the dream of America are missing

I thought I'd try to write a book about America these days, a work of definitive analysis, you know? Like the big thinkers. Come up with an all-encompassing theory about the end of history, or the Whatsit Generation, or better yet, be Tocqueville--so that everyone in the Hamptons or on Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket this summer would nod in somber yet enthusiastic agreement that, yep, this is America, all right.

But I look around and realize that I've never been in this neck of the woods before. And if I could, I'd get in my car and drive back to a...

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