Egotopia: Narcissism and the New American Landscape

By John Miller | Go to book overview

FOREWORD

I completed reading John Miller Egotopia, as Shelley once said upon finishing a book, "in a frenzy of enthusiasm." Egotopia is a marvelous book, and nothing could be more timely. Emerson and Thoreau would have rejoiced in it, as would a good many of our other celebrated culture heroes. Whether through the novel, essay, poetry, play, philosophy, or more specialized work, like Rachel Carson Silent Spring, these writers, though severe critics of the United States, all loved their country, and in their own concerned critical ways fully endorsed Scott Fitzgerald's moving words, "America is a willingness of the heart."

This willingness of the heart, this American generosity, especially through private gifts, has enriched our colleges and universities and made our museums of art and sciences among the greatest and most beautiful in the world. The United States, somewhat late in getting started, has gradually become the world's center for the arts, a center of such virtuosity that it attracts many talents from the rest of the world. This willingness of the heart is a reflection of the American spirit that Europeans frequently remark when they visit the United States and that is extended to the whole world. But

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