Jedediah Purdy   Being America  
Jedediah Purdy  
Read an Excerpt from Being America

Read an Interview with Jedediah Purdy


At the age of 24, Jedediah Purdy took on the ironic detachment and ennui he found prevalent in American culture with his book For Common Things. A contrarian tract that called for sincerity in a jaded time, it quickly established the author as the anti-Eggers. Home-schooled, earnest and a Harvard graduate to boot, he was the kind of young man that parents dream their daughters will date. Critics lined up to either hail or skewer him, and it became clear that love him or hate him, Jed Purdy touched a nerve.

Now Purdy is back with Being America, a look at America's place in the world and how the global citizenry view our burgeoning empire. Travelling to Egypt, India, Indonesia and China to explore the ever-present contradictions, the passionate attraction and exhaustive list of resentments inherent in what America means to everyone else, he surveys the fractured landscape and acknowleging that globalism and America's preeminence are simply fact, he calls for a humane and compassionate empire. Ever contrarian, Purdy retains his optimism. His voice is a fresh addition to a debate that has no shortage of cynics.

In this issue of Bold Type you'll find an interview with Jedediah Purdy and an excerpt from Being America.

—Larry Weissman

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  Photo credit: Claudio Vazquez

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