Perhaps you have not read The Great Gatsby lately and have only a vague sepia recollection of it; perhaps, per impossible, you have never read Don Quixote at all. Still, you know what they are about, because you have lived it. You have had your Daisy or your Dulcinea. You have loved somethingor the idea of somethingso beautiful and good, so exalted and rare, that it would forever elude your all too human grasp, would transcend the world itself and all the wrongs of the world. And because of this pure and consuming love, there is "a trace of music" in your soul and a kind of "crazy hopefulness." As Jack Nicholson might say, "it makes you want to be a better man." But perhaps you did not connect any of this with America. You should.
Read William Voegeli in the latest Claremont Review of Books for a suggestion as to why F. Scott Fitzgerald (and Cervantes) may have more than John Dewey or John Rawls to tell us about America.