Quick Reads: “Across the Pond” by Terry Eagleton


Across the Pond

Across the Pond: An Englishman’s View of America

By Terry Eagleton

W.W. NORTON & CO.

In his Tocqueville-meets-Hodgman essays, British literary theorist Terry Eagleton throws a mostly kindhearted, if predictable, roast of America, taking apart, for instance, our obsessive positivity, puritan insistence on waking up early, and belief that “anything is possible” so long as you try hard enough. In darker moments, he observes that “societies like the United States which insist on success are bound to produce large amounts of human wreckage”—which we then manage with everything from yoga to psychotherapy to prisons. Eagleton’s examples frequently miss the mark; his contention that American tourists will “explore the dullest landmarks, listen attentively to the most tedious of guides, and labour their way up and down the most unforgiving flights of stairs,” while not inaccurate, might just as well apply to his own countrymen—or pretty much anyone with a fanny pack and a camera.

 

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

payment methods

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate