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Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Purdy Moment

What ever happened to the moral & literary wunderkind, Jedediah Purdy? Some will remember his bestseller For Common Things and its brief status as the cri de coeur of his generation. The book appeared in 1999 – a fitting call to arms against the mindset of a most superficial decade.

Purdy’s moment prefigured the mood of the country a few years later, which culminated in Obama’s election. How short lived it was. The president now seems more & more detached from the people He still may achieve much. But the moment—that brief, euphoric surge of national unison—is gone. Barring another, even worse, crisis, it is unlikely to return.

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