THE NEED FOR CHANGE
The nine cities of Troy, each built on the ruins of its predecessor, were accumulated over millennia, from the Stone Age till Roman times. Pompeii was buried by volcanic eruption. . . . The Old World thus had its ghost towns, but more often than not they were buried and men built on the rubble of their ancestors’ disappointed hopes. In America the archaeology of fast-moving men on a nearly empty continent was spread plain and thin on the surface. Its peculiar product was the abandoned place (the “ghost town”) rather than the buried place. Its characteristic relics were things left by choice before they were used up.
—DANIEL J. BOORSTIN The Americans: The National Experience1
AMERICANS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN IN TRANSITION. ...