May 4, 2005

BHL to America: You're smarter than you think . . .


Philosopher and Philadelphia Inquirer book critic Carlin Romano talks to Bernard-Henri Lévy about his current project: re-tracing the footsteps of Alexis de Tocqueville for The Atlantic Monthly. In Romano’s profile, Lévy says he found some things had changed since de Tocqueville wrote his famous observations, such as “a surprising growth of puritanism on the American left, and the rise of America’s ‘democratic messianism.'” Another change: Lévy rejects “the cliché of America as an unphilosophical country,” says Romano. Says the founder of the famous New Philosophers, “If you mean ideological country . . . I would even say the reverse. The ideological debate might be stronger today in America than in France.”

Dennis Johnson is the founder of MobyLives, and the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House.