“One of them is the country of Uncle Sam... an America, in the words of Herman Melville, ‘intrepid, unprincipled, reckless, predatory, with boundless ambition, civilized in the externals but savage at heart.' The other is its blessed double, home of heroes and clowns and of the cheerful and welcoming democratic collective — ‘the place where I was born.’ For all of my romantic Satanism and the satisfaction I took and still take in the doctrine of original sin, it is this second America to which I feel culturally and temperamentally attuned."
May 3, 2016
"As a graduate student... he graded what he called a 'so-so' exam by a young John F. Kennedy and the English assignments of 'an intense, hungry-looking' Norman Mailer."
From the obituary of Daniel Aaron — "Critic and Historian Who Pioneered American Studies" — who has died at the age of 103 and who "described himself as 'a citizen of two Americas'":