Exporting Democracy


Because the United States was founded on Enlightenment ideas, and nationalism is usually connected to romantic notions of terrain, history, and a unique cultural experience, little is ordinarily said about American nationalism. But, of course, the United States is perhaps the most nationalistic society on earth.

China strikes me as its only plausible rival in this respect, insisting that civilization and China are indistinguishable, which resembles the claim Americans are inclined to...

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About the Author

William Pfaff, a former editor of Commonweal, is political columnist for the International Herald Tribune in Paris. His most recent book is The Irony of Manifest Destiny: The Tragedy of America's Foreign Policy (Walker & Company).