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Inhaltsangabe zu "Europe's Macadam - America's Tar"
highly-praised novellist Alan Goldfein tackles The European Reality and The American
Delusion— about itself and about Europe. Drawing on a vast knowledge and familiarity
with the continent— he lives there half each year— Goldfein focuses his
clear writer’s eye on bringing to light the ways in which America does suffer in a faceoff
with „the old world“; and these are often hidden ways: On the poverty of wealthy
America and the surprising wealth of „poor ‘old’ Europe“. On how „wealthy“ America’s
handles don’t work— much less its pumps— in comparison with Old Europe’s
smoothly functioning (electronic, automated) handles. Why, for example:
You should get sick in Europe, not in the U.S.
The German toilets work better than the American. And the radiators; and the parking
meters; and the trains; and the roads are far more durable; and the gasoline is better.
It’s better to be an employee in Europe: For wages, free-time, companionship; and
The French student (on average) knows Melville and James and Bellow (to some
extent), and the American student would not know The Dreyfuss Affair from The
Dreyfuss Fund with its roaring lion.
America’s rich are far richer than Europe’s rich, and America’s poor far poorer.
Life revolves about Community in Europe, and life gravitates to the Individual in
In Europe’s Macadam, America’s Tar Alan Goldfein has deftly taken the unique
approach of exploring Europe in order to better understand America. While many
writers have identified the sources of the crisis in American values— our “shambles
of infrastructure” (both physical and spiritual) is certainly no secret— words just
describing America, and America alone, become merely negative shadow words
heard and heard again, tired descriptives, with no thorough comparisons to a comparable
world. But by aiming at the problems we face from the vantage point of our
cultural brethren across the Atlantic, Alan Goldfein is able to cast a broader light on
what must be done to fire up our own national renewal.