Looking for America.(Brief Article)(Editorial)

Article excerpt

IT WAS AUTUMN FOUR YEARS AGO WHEN WE INTRODUCED Book, so the fact that we're celebrating our anniversary at this moment of the year--when the United States is in a mood of serious reflection--is coincidental. Perhaps, though, there's something beyond serendipity in the fact that so much of this issue reflects the qualities of America.

Contributing Editor Anthony DeCurtis' cover story (page 42), for instance, is about nothing less than an effort to find the heart of the country. DeCurtis talked with Peter Jennings and Todd Brewster about their book In Search of America, in which the authors ask: What does it mean, now, to be an American?

Other stories here, if less explicitly about searches, do as fine a job in helping to answer Jennings and Brewster's question. We talk with Sandra Cisneros about mestizo objects--ones that are woven together from disparate cultures (page 54). We stroll around Times Square with Umberto Eco, talking about America as the land of superheroes (page 62). We pay a visit to the relatively distant past, with a stop in Cooperstown, which was home to James Fenimore Cooper and the site of his classic adventure tales more than a century before it became home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame (page 28). …