James Webb to convey our dilficult andncomplex message to large audiences.nBut first and foremost, we need thosenwho would be able to formulate thatnmessage in all due grandeur, magnitude,nand intellectual richness. Consequently,nthe finitude of Mr. Webb’s achievementnmust be made clear and perhaps alsonexplained.nA likely place to begin is with Mr.nWebb’s theme that “loyalty to peoplenand culture were the key to life,” whichnhe applies to both the Japanese andnAmericans. This is certainly a correctnobservation, but as it is developed in .AnCountry Such as This, this theme doesnnot evolve into either moral or ontologicalndimensions. Moreover, as an ideologicalnprinciple, it provides no adequatenfoundation for promoting that kind ofnAmerican patriotism which may demonstratenwhat’s universal and timeless innour national ethos. Except for Amerindians,nno one is an ethnic American.nAmericans are Americans not by racenbut because either they or their ancestorsnreached for human ideals andnpossibilities beyond those of theirnparents or fellow countrymen. FromnEngland, Germany, Denmark, Ireland,nRussia, China, Cuba, and scores of otherncountries, people came, and continue toncome, to America for the sake of freedoms,nideas, hopes, spiritual and civicnrights no^found among their people nornin their cultures. By a narrow-mindednstandard, this emigration might benconstrued as lack of national loyalty. Butnby a larger and truer standard, it proclaimednand validated the firmest loyaltynto humankind. America is not one continuousnpeople or national culture tonwhich loyalty can be sworn in the samenway as the Japanese did in Bushido;nrather, it is many peoples and manyncultures melded together by a single setnof priceless supranational humanenaspirations embodied in the rarest ofnnational institutions.nIt is therefore sadly ironic that thencommunism that Webb’s charactersn8 ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ MnChronicles of Culturenoppose so selflessly continues to winnpropaganda victories as the only trulyntranscultural political movement, evennas it relentlessly extirpates all that isnidiosyncratic, creative, and beautifiil innthe cultures of Afghanistan, EasternnEurope, Vietnam, Cuba, China, andnRussia itself. The very doctrine which isnsupposed to make national bordersnirrelevant inevitably transforms themninto barbed-wire corrals for its ownnpeople. Consequently, as the CommunistnInternational reduces more andnmore people to starvation of body andnspirit, tens of thousands will continue tonrisk their lives and to sacrifice a part ofntheir culture by pouring into America, orninto lands protected by America, so thatnthey will not be under the heel of a halfdozennideologically provincial GreatnRussians. To be truly international at thisnjuncture in history is necessarily to benpro-American. The only possible way tonpromote the interests of Nicaraguans,nPoles, Cambodians, Ethiopians, andnUkranians simultaneously is to supportnAmerica, not simply as a people, a piecenof geography, or a set of economicninterests, but as the only viable championnof the most beneficent possibilitiesnin the world. Defending America isntherefore more than defending the 240nmillion people •who live v^^ithin thenUnited States; it is protecting, in Lincoln’snworthy phrase, “the last, best hopenon earth.” Hence, to be truly and completelyn”American” is, contrary to thenillusions of some Daughters of thennnAmerican Revolution, to be profoundlyninternational in outlook, and opening ancognitive and existential perspective onnthis dialectical complexity would give anliterary work its status.nJcor the writer who wishes to vwiten”the great American novel,” as Mr. Webbnapparently attempts to do, these arenessential truths. The focus in^ CountrynSuch as This upon the global strugglenagainst communism implies a soundnunderstanding of the worldwide significancenof the American military. And thenappreciative portrayal of Japanesenculture evinces a commendably internationalnsensitivity. But the “international”nsensitivity of a great American writernmust be not broad but deep. Like Dostoevski’snand Tolstoy’s—but also likenHawthorne’s, Faulkner’s, and Bellow’s.nThe best American talent is alwaysnrooted in some particular locale—thenPuritan villages of New England, thenplantations of the Old South or thenfiindamentalist towns of the New South,nor the Depression-era slums of Chicagon—and draws nourishment from a vitalnappreciation for the way these localesnshaped and were shaped by America’sndistinctive liberties, covenants, andnpromise. But it goes deeper, deeper thannall historical Americanism. It reachesndown into the common heart of allnhumanity. Mr. Webb has his roots inngood, fertile soil. But until those rootsnpenetrate deeper, the leaves that grownon them cannot be laurels. Dn