America is solidly organized egoism, it is evil made systematic and regular.
Pierre Buchez 1
I have always believed that this anointed land was set apart in an uncommon way, that a divine plan placed this great continent here between the oceans to be founded by people from every corner of the earth who have a special love of faith and freedom.
Ronald Reagan 2
On October 4, 2001, the London Review of Books (LRB) published a collection of reactions to the events of September 11 by some of its leading contributors. One in particular, by a Cambridge academic, provoked an angry response from an American professor, setting off a debate that continued through several subsequent issues. It spread out to at least one daily newspaper, the Guardian, when one of its columnists reported on the furor. To that extent, this controversy became news and not simply a piece of academic infighting. 3
The comments in the LRB on October 4 that provoked the most heated response were contained in a single sentence. Once the initial shock of the September 11 attacks had passed, wrote Mary Beard, a “more hard-headed reaction set in, ” which included the feeling that “however tactfully you dress it up, the United States had it coming (emphasis added).” Beard's phrasing allowed for the possibility that she was merely reporting what others believed, but the general tenor of her remarks suggested endorsement of this view. So, at any rate, it was taken by some readers. Many of the statements by other contributors, while expressing condemnation of the attacks and sympathy for the victims, were critical either directly or indirectly of the United States government's