New Essay on American Patriotism and Despair

America is a religion to Americans. Great American artists present a necessary, intelligent, and truthful alternative to the dogmatic lie of naming the country a “shining city on the hill.”

In my latest essay for Salon, I explore the beautifully heretical tradition of the American arts, paying particular attention to Andrew Wyeth, Edward Hopper, Bruce Springsteen, Raymond Chandler, and Joan Didion.

Read it here.

Andrew Wyeth Independence Day