A French Lady on the Dark Continent:
Simone de Beauvoir's Impressions of America
Since the defeat of Hitler, there has been a worldwide contest to choose the new Enemy Number One, and the finalists are now Russia and America. For most people the Soviet regime seems to deserve the palm; for some—Communists and their sympathizers, but also many non-Communists—the United States is the chief menace. Extremes being in fashion today, opinion on America has been polarized, with the flag-wavers on one side and the anti-Americans on the other. In between are some highminded people who still have an open mind on the question of whether America is a force for progress or reaction.
Intellectuals, of course, are never behind the times, and the presses have been kept busy, here and abroad, turning out books that prove America is black or white or just gray. The latest contribution is a book by Simone de Beauvoir called America Day by Day that has just been published in England and is coming out in this country in translation, though it appeared in France some time back. It is an account, complete with theories and interpretations, of a four months’ visit to the United States in 1948.
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