Through his books and documentaries, Simon Schama, a British born historian, has covered a lot of fertile ground. The French Revolution, the slave trade, the power of art, Rembrandt, early modern Dutch culture, the history of Britain — Schama has covered it all. And now he has pulled a Tocqueville on us. He spent the better part of a year traveling across America, sizing it up, and producing a lengthy TV documentary (now available on DVD) and a related book (not available in the US yet) called The American Future: A History. His analysis of America, of its past and its future, takes into account several major themes: religion, immigration, land and resources, and war. In this recent conversation with Bill Moyers, Schama talks at length about America and where it finds itself today. The first 15 minutes focus on Obama and the challenges he faces. The remaining part gets into themes discussed in The American Future. You can access it here: iTunes – Feed – Web Site.
P.S. I am really sorry about the frustrating downtime this morning. My hosting service — Dreamhost — had some “issues.” Hopefully this was an exception.