America Comes of Age, a French Analysis

America Comes of Age, a French Analysis

America Comes of Age, a French Analysis

America Comes of Age, a French Analysis

Excerpt

It is doubtful if any generation has been so absorbed with its own history as are the people of today. Never in a single decade were our ancestors confronted with events so momentous, intriguing, and replete with sudden changes as those brought about by the World War. Modern men and women are still interested in the history of the past, but they read it in the hope of finding in it the secret of the present, and even of the future. They are captivated by the baffling task of studying the changes while they are still taking place, and of sounding the depth of the currents that are still only uncertainly seen on the surface. The task of the contemporary historian is more difficult than that of the historian of the past, for it is hard to "see the forest for trees," and almost as hard to appreciate the viewpoint of the people of another country as of an earlier generation of one's own. This wealth of contemporary research may provide a treasure-trove for the historian of the future, but it is inspired by motives that touch us more closely. The unforeseen and far-reaching problems that are now looming up make the results of scientific study not only intensely interesting but vitally necessary for the guidance of those in authority.

The greatest steps into the future are being taken by the United States, for life moves quickly when either individuals or nations come of age. In America Comes of Age, Professor Siegfried describes the American people, perplexed with domestic problems of no mean importance, being suddenly thrust into maturity. The discovery of mass production in industry by such men as Ford and McCormick is introducing a new civilization with a standard of living . . .

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