In the 1920s, The Nation published a series of articles by prominent writers about\ their home states. We have recently commissioned a number of contemporary writers to do the same. The result is the just-published These United States (Nation Books), several articles from which have appeared in these pages. This is the last.
"Historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. argues that America 'escaped the divisiveness of a multiethnic society by the creation of a brand-new national identity. The point of America was not to preserve old cultures but to forge a new, American culture.' The cult of ethnicity among non-Anglo whites and among nonwhite minorities have had many healthy consequences, but pressed too far this cult has unhealthy consequences. Holding a highly differentiated society together."
"'The pursuit of happiness' is the most famous phrase in the Declaration of Independence. Conventional history and popular wisdom attribute the phrase to the genius of Thomas Jefferson when in an imaginative leap, he replaced the third term of John Locke’s trinity, “life, liberty, and property.” It was a felicitous, even thrilling, substitution. Yet the true history and philosophical meaning of the famous phrase are apparently unknown."