Goldman responds to commentators who believe that Americans must return to some overarching identity and purpose. He argues that this task is difficult when the conditions that allowed previous unity no longer exist. Moreover, nationalists do not reasonably explain programs that could reignite a meaningful shared identity.
Browsing among the books, articles, and editorials of the past is instructive and exceedingly disturbing. One discovers the same concerns and anxieties as is everywhere apparent among thoughtful people now. Many paragraphs or sentences are as applicable today as they were then.
This week the editors discuss Paul D. Miller’s article about Israel and Hamas, an editorial from 1946 explaining how Americans needed to understand world religion better, a look at religious freedom in South America, and Dunkirk.