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American Vertigo24:43

This article is more than 13 years old.

In 1831, a young Frenchman named Alexis de Tocqueville toured the young United States, peered into its boisterous character, and wrote "Democracy in America," the classic early yardstick of the country's self-understanding.

In 2003 — on the far side of Franco-American meltdown and "cheese-eating surrender monkeys" — French intellectual Bernard-Henri Levy was invited to repeat Tocqueville's exercise.

Levy went to prisons and churches, Guantanamo and Las Vegas, a swingers club and the Iowa State Fair — and wrote "American Vertigo." He calls it an honest song of praise but prairie home pundit Garrison Keillor hates it.

In the footsteps of Toqueville, Bernard-Henri Levy talks about "American Vertigo."


Bernard-Henri Levy, philosopher, journalist and author of "American Vertigo"

This program aired on February 2, 2006.

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