Bonds and Myths of American Identity

Living abroad for eight years, my primary identity became "American" and "expat." I was thrilled to encounter Americans in the Middle East and felt instant affinity with most of them. Political or (sub)cultural differences didn't matter. We seemed to have an innate understanding of each other. Now that I am "home," it seems I have... Continue Reading →


‘Unlearning the Myth of American Innocence’

"Americans will never understand their own country until they see it as the rest of the world does," writes Suzy Hansen in The Guardian, in an excerpt from her book, Notes on a Foreign Country. She calls it "the myth of American innocence." It might also be called willful ignorance of the world, blindness, or a... Continue Reading →

Back to Nature After 8 Years Away

Americans may do a better job of integrating the natural environment into their daily lives than citizens of many other countries. I newly appreciate that as I am rediscovering America after eight years living abroad. I biked 18 miles in crisp fall weather around Winston Salem, NC with my son Matthew. What an extraordinarily beautiful country... Continue Reading →

What Makes New Mexico a “Land of Enchantment”?

New Mexico pegs itself as "the land of enchantment." In a five-day visit, I found this to be true because of its stark landscapes, iconic architecture, endless outdoor activities, southwestern cuisine and a wide mix of cultures competing for influence and yet basically getting along and defining what it means to be American: descendants of native tribes, Spanish conquistadors,... Continue Reading →

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