American Vertigo: Book summary and reviews of American Vertigo by Bernard-Henri Levy

American Vertigo

Traveling America in the Footsteps of Tocqueville

by Bernard-Henri Levy

American Vertigo by Bernard-Henri Levy

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Book Summary

What does it mean to be an American, and what can America be today? To answer these questions, celebrated philosopher and journalist Bernard-Henri Lévy spent a year traveling throughout the country in the footsteps of another great Frenchman, Alexis de Tocqueville, whose Democracy in America remains the most influential book ever written about America.

The result is American Vertigo, a fascinating, wholly fresh look at a country we sometimes only think we know. From Rikers Island to Chicago mega-churches, from Muslim communities in Detroit to an Amish enclave in Iowa, Lévy investigates issues at the heart of our democracy: the special nature of American patriotism, the coexistence of freedom and religion (including the religion of baseball), the prison system, the “return of ideology” and the health of our political institutions, and much more.

At a time when Americans are anxious about how the world perceives them and, indeed, keen to make sense of themselves, a brilliant and sympathetic foreign observer has arrived to help us begin a new conversation about the meaning of America.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

'Lévy has been an 'anti-anti-Americanist', and while he finds serious fissures in this country's social landscape, in the end he is an optimist about the future of a country he admires for the richness of its culture and its political vision.' - PW.
'Bernard-Henry Lévy does nothing that goes unnoticed. He is an intellectual adventurer who brings publicity to unfashionable political causes.' - The New York Times.

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