I skimmed over John D. Gartner's book The Hypomanic Edge last night but came away disappointed. The bulk of the book consists in character studies of prominent American entrepreneurs (Andrew Carnegie and the like), but very little empirical or historical evidence is brought to bear in support of Gartner's thesis that America is a crazy nation. So the search for understanding America continues. Aside from the usual Tocqueville, here are some books that Gartner references which might be of interest:

It always gets back to Tocqueville, doesn't it? Whitehead once said that the history of philosophy is a series of footnotes to Plato; it sometimes seems that the history of trying to understand America is a series of footnotes to Tocqueville.

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