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Russophobia

A Nation Of ‘Geophobes’

Ruminating on the American condition some years ago, I invented a word to describe us as we are. America is a “geophobic” nation, I figured — a people with an aversion to the world’s spaces and populations that manifests as indifference to any genuine knowledge of either. This indifference, this ignorance of other places and people — and Americans’ indifference to their ignorance — is perfectly evident as a thread running through the whole of American history. Americans are, at bottom, a fearful people, spooked by what lies beyond their shores. Has this ever been more so than now, in the twilight of the empire? Geophobia, strange as it may seem, has served America well in certain respects — assuming, this is to say, one has a very narrow understanding of well-being.
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