...is random thoughts, personal, non-scientific, by the noted philosopher, which, if they were coming from an American,...

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REFLECTIONS ON AMERICA

...is random thoughts, personal, non-scientific, by the noted philosopher, which, if they were coming from an American, would be considered vain and boastful. Maritain, now Professor Emeritus at Princeton, is not one of our carping critics. He finds, first of all, a contrast between the spirit of the American people and their industrial (read materialistic) civilization. Americans are, he says, the least nationalistic among modern peoples which have attained the industrial stage. There is, in America, no stagnation, an eagerness for knowledge and a fundamental part played by free discussion which he finds undefiled in spite of its detractors. But there are vulnerable points too, among them, our incessant need to be loved abroad, our proneness to discouragement due to inner insecurity and the shame of such a thing as a ""race question"". But he softens these latter notes by saying that our vulnerability appears because Americans as a people are naive as contrasted with jaded, cynical Europe. In the last analysis, the most valuable American feature is the operation of the democratic philosophy in everyday experience and the pervasion of a basic regard for personal human dignity. Maritain's views come addressed summa cum laude.

Pub Date: Feb. 14, 1957

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1957