Introducing the American Spirit [NOOK Book]

Overview

“Das ist ganz Americanish.” Whenever a German says this, he means that it is something which is practical, lavish, daringly reckless or lawless.

It means a short cut to achievement, a disregard of convention, an absence of those qualities which have given to the older nations of the world that fine, distinguishing flavor which is a fruit of the spirit. Many attempts have been made to enlighten the Old World upon that point; but in spite of exchange-professorships and some notable, interpretative books upon the ...
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Introducing the American Spirit

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Overview

“Das ist ganz Americanish.” Whenever a German says this, he means that it is something which is practical, lavish, daringly reckless or lawless.

It means a short cut to achievement, a disregard of convention, an absence of those qualities which have given to the older nations of the world that fine, distinguishing flavor which is a fruit of the spirit. Many attempts have been made to enlighten the Old World upon that point; but in spite of exchange-professorships and some notable, interpretative books upon the subject, we are still only the “Land of the Dollar.”

We are not loved as a nation, largely because we are not understood, and we are not understood because we do not understand ourselves, and we do not understand ourselves because we have not studied ourselves in the light of the spirit of other nations.

Coming to this country a product of Germanic civilization, knowing intimately the Slavic, Semitic, and Latin spirit, the writer was compelled to compare and to choose. Yet he would never have dared write upon this subject; not only because it was a difficult task, but because he had been so completely weaned from the Old World spirit that he had lost the proper perspective. Moreover, of formal books upon this subject there was no dearth.

During the last ten years, however, he has had the advantage of being the cicerone of distinguished Europeans who came to study various phases of our institutional life, and they brought the opportunity of fresh comparisons and also of new view-points in this realm of the national spirit.

These unconventional studies, most of which received their inspiration through the visit of the Herr Director and his charming wife, are here offered as an Introduction to the American Spirit, not only to the Herr Director and the Frau Directorin, but to those Americans who do not realize that a nation, as well as man, “cannot live by bread alone;” that its most precious asset, its greatest element of strength, is its Spirit, and that the elements out of which the Spirit is made, are so rare, so delicate, that when once wasted they cannot readily be replaced.

As the sin against the Holy Spirit is the one sin for which the Gospel holds out no forgiveness for the individual, so there seems to be no hope for the nation which transgresses against this most vital element of its higher life.

Inasmuch also as the Spirit is something which guides and cannot be guided, these informal introductions appear in no geographic or historic sequence, but are necessarily left to the leading of the spirit, of which “no man knoweth whence it cometh or whither it goeth.”
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940016612584
  • Publisher: Library of Alexandria
  • Publication date: 5/2/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 299 KB

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