We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
...Made in America is not simply an entertaining narrative history. It is also an argument, or rather a set of arguments, about character and culture. The first is that "modernity" entailed less wrenching and negative change than most today believe. In the realm of culture and society, continuity -- or the intensification of already apparent patterns -- was the rule. Fischer writes, for example, that his is "not one more account of how American character was corrupted by rising individualism, egoism or selfishness." Instead, Americans "remained by Western standards remarkably committed to family, church, community, job and nation." Second, like Potter, Fischer sees abundance as the engine of American history: not simply economic wealth, in his telling, but an ever-increasing stock of security, health, social opportunities, political freedoms, and self-mastery. Third and most significant, he declares a Tocquevillian "voluntarism" -- a highly socialized individualism that led Americans to join groups and build communities -- to be the substrate of national character, the key trait that binds Americans together.