THE AMERICAN SYSTEM

ward just

Ward Just

The protagonist of Ward Just’s latest novel, Rodin’s Debutante, makes a pronouncement that drew me up short, it is such a pithy and accurate description of the American polity.

“I think at a very early age I understood the American system, the country so various, so large and unruly, poised to fly apart at any moment. The system was founded on compromise and reconciliation, an infinity of checks and balances but always the willingness to look the other way until the world forced closed focus.”

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