Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Export strength

"In closing this very imperfect survey of the influence of American books on the non-American world, one thing is obvious. The influence of American literature has been distinctly good. What there is of evil in it has been consumed at home. The broad Atlantic has acted as a potent antiseptic, which has killed noxious germs and only left that which is healthy, helpful, and human to reach our shores. American humor has contributed much to the gaiety of the world, and American poetry has been both refining and inspiring in its influence on the masses of our people."

-- W.T. Stead, The Americanization of the World, or: The Trend of the Twentieth Century. London: Horace Markley, 1901. p. 289.