To us Americans much has been given; of us much is required. With all our faults and mistakes, it is our strength in support of the freedom our forefathers loved which has saved mankind from subjection to totalitarian power.
With reality TV, sometimes it's amazing chemistry and you get these gems that turn out to be everything you hoped, and the camera loves them and they just blossom on the show. And then sometimes it's not all you envision.
Like every child growing up in America, I read 'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer' and 'Huckleberry Finn.' I liked them well enough, but I didn't love them.
The typical Western is kind of a good-guy/bad-guy thing, and that's great, but initially when I heard about 'Into the West,' and what I love about it is it delves into both sides of our cultural past, and it puts more of a human face on the Native Americans.
Who was Amanda Knox? Was she a fresh-faced honor student from Seattle who met anyone's definition of an all-American girl - attractive, athletic, smart, hard-working, adventuresome, in love with languages and travel? Or was her pretty face a mask, a duplicitous cover for a depraved soul?
Most people divorce because one in the couple falls in love with someone else: it's a common cause of divorce. I still think that it's tinted - this is my opinion - with a veil of racism and American puritanism.
The whole world loves American movies, blue jeans, jazz and rock and roll. It is probably a better way to get to know our country than by what politicians or airline commercials represent.
When we were 15, my girlfriend Ruth Kaplan and I applied to the Universidad Ibero-Americana in Mexico City. We were accepted into a program that placed us with a lovely Mexican family. We lived with them for six weeks while studying Spanish poetry and Mexican anthropology.
Mary Doria Russell
Americans are fascinated by their own love of shopping. This does not make them unique. It's just that they have more to buy than most other people on the planet. And it's also an affirmation of faith in their country.
Everyone finds their own version of Charles Dickens. The child-victim, the irrepressibly ambitious young man, the reporter, the demonic worker, the tireless walker. The radical, the protector of orphans, helper of the needy, man of good works, the republican. The hater and the lover of America. The giver of parties, the magician, the traveler.
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