Is This The End of the American Century?

This site features updates, analysis, discussion and comments related to the theme of my book published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2008 (hardbound) and 2009 (paperbound).

The Book

The End of the American Century documents the interrelated dimensions of American social, economic, political and international decline, marking the end of a period of economic affluence and world dominance that began with World War II. The war on terror and the Iraq War exacerbated American domestic weakness and malaise, and its image and stature in the world community. Dynamic economic and political powers like China and the European Union are steadily challenging and eroding US global influence. This global shift will require substantial adjustments for U.S. citizens and leaders alike.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Moment of Awe and Joy: Susan Boyle

This blog, and my book, have been pretty unremitting in relaying downbeat news and analysis. So I thought it would not hurt to post a story, and some links, that will bring a joyful lump in the throat to even the most hard-bitten of politicos and wonks.

I am often the last to learn about current fads and popular culture, so I stumbled across the story of Susan Boyle in Saturday's New York Times: Unlikely Singer is YouTube Sensation. If you are one of the few remaining sentients unaware of Susan, as I was, I suggest you first read the story, and then go to YouTube to hear her rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream."

Susan Boyle is a 47 year old, unemployed, unmarried church volunteer from tiny Blackburn, Scotland, who competed in the "Britain's Got Talent" show. Both her performance, and the reaction of the glamorous judges, is something to behold. As the writer Letty Cottin Pogrebin wrote in the Huffington Post, the audience and judges "were initially blinded by entrenched stereotypes of age, class, gender and Western beauty standards. . . until her book was opened and everybody saw what was inside."

Read the story, then watch the video at this link.

You might also want to follow this with the video of the other performance mentioned in the Times article, a soaring rendition of Puccini's "Nessum dorma" by Welsh cellphone salesman Paul Potts. It is at this link.

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