America was built by materialistic and sometimes superficial strivers. It was built by pioneers who voluntarily subjected themselves to stone-age conditions on the frontier fired by dreams of riches. It was built by immigrants who crammed themselves into hellish tenements because they thought it would lead, for their children, to big houses, big cars and big lives.
America has always been defined by this ferocious commercial energy, this zealotry for self-transformation, which leads its citizens to vacation less, work longer, consume more and invent more.
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