The American Mind in Action

The American Mind in Action

The American Mind in Action

The American Mind in Action

Excerpt

Perhaps there is no such thing as an American mind. Perhaps--in the sense of the humorist who complained that the country had weather but no climate--the variety among Americans is so great and the mass of the people so little homogeneous, that no sort of common psychology can be rightly imputed to them. Nevertheless, there are certain traits and mental qualities that are accepted as characteristically American; and when the critic of America assembles those traits and mental qualities together into a sort of synthetic man, he is commonly allowed to consider this creature of his selective fancy a typical American with a typical American mind.

It is agreed, for example, that the typical American is at once the most shrewdly practical of men and the most sentimentally idealistic. It is agreed that he is an excellent business man, but a much less excellent artist--or, at least, the superior quality of his intellect in affairs of business and industry is obvious to his foreign critics, and the inferior quality of his achievement in art and literature is equally admitted by the world. It is pointed out that he is an inventor, but not a scientist. It is observed that he is one of the most prosperous and comfortable of mankind, yet . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.