"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
Former Conservative leader William Hague, writing in The Spectator, offers a stirring testimonial to Anglo-American friendship.
I have been lucky enough to travel across most of the states of America. I have sat with old men on their porches in Tennessee, and ridden with young wranglers in Montana in the mountains of the Great Divide. As a politician, I have visited schools in New York, retirement homes in Florida and technology firms in San Diego. And I have to say that it would be hard to come across a nation of people less imperialist by culture, temperament and inclination. America was forged in the first place by the families of Protestant settlers who had a work ethic, a strong sense of right and wrong, and a hostility to governmental power and royal authority. They went to a new land in order to be away from wars, taxes and kings. Their attitudes, reinforced by the waves of dispossessed people who have joined them in succeeding centuries, remain the central characteristics of America today. Americans are still by nature disrespectful of authority, deeply democratic by instinct, very conscious of their freedom, and particularly happy to live in a vast and beautiful land which is free from external threats.
Such people are difficult to rouse to war. If Americans are insular – and many of them are – they cannot be imperialist at the same time. In British and French eyes, their sin over much of the last century has been isolationism: ‘too proud to fight’, as Woodrow Wilson said. Americans have always hated joining in other people’s conflicts. Only unrestricted submarine attacks off their west coast brought them into the first world war, and only a direct attack on American soil in Pearl Harbor brought them into the second, even Churchill’s brilliant eloquence having made little progress with them until then. Once roused, however, they have responded with a mixture of determination, loyalty and generosity that no other nation has ever matched. Without America, France would have lived in a dark age of dictatorship for decades. Without America, Germans could not have rescued themselves from a racist ideology. And without America, Europe’s only alternative to Nazi tyranny would have been communist tyranny. American troops left behind them an independent and democratic Japan, and brought Europe the Marshall Plan – both supreme acts of enlightenment in foreign policy. They share with Britain, but not with other European powers, the distinction of leaving democracy and freedom in their wake wherever they can.MORE