Garlanding the Bull

Chapter 7 of Gelernter’s book is on “The Emergence of Modern Americanism,” basically covering the period of the Second World War and the Cold War that followed. As in all his chapters, he is full of interesting and useful information, but he applies it in wildly skewed ways. If Americanism is a religion (and he …

No Unique Logres

I want to begin this next section of my review of Gelernter’s Americanism with a healthy reminder from C.S. Lewis. This comes from That Hideous Strength. “So that, meanwhile, is England,” said Mother Dimble. “Just this swaying to and fro between Logres and Britain?” “Yes,” said her husband. “Don’t you feel it? The very quality …

Monsters or Sinners?

Chapter Five is where David Gelernter and I part company most drastically, for reasons easily anticipated. In this chapter, Gelernter tackles the subject of Abraham Lincoln, “America’s last and greatest founding father.” As usual, Gelernter is uncannily accurate in his description, and flies wide of the mark in his evaluation. Lincoln was the great founder …