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Stephen MetcalfThrilling as The Shape of Things to Come is, its greatest achievement may be finally exhausting its readers on American exceptionalism forever. This "city upon a hill" business, maybe it’s time to give it a rest. Maybe we could complete our errand in the wilderness by assuming the mantle of democracy in humbler, if more tedious, ways, like making sure everyone - everyone - has enough health care to lead a purposive, self-respecting life. The spirit of portentous doomsaying, of course, does live on in the public sphere, if outside a paradigm that makes sense to an honorary baby boomer like Marcus (he was born in 1945), for whom the legacy of Winthrop means expanding civil rights, an increasingly permissive private life and album rock. The right, especially the religious right, announces a leprous America behind every shock jock and "South Park" episode. Sad as it is to admit, maybe we should leave the visionary brimstone to them.
— The New York Times