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Americans were once steeped in the histories of many nations when they understood why they loved their country and embraced others who loved their countries.
By Anthony Esolen, American Greatness, August 17, 2022
Anthony Esolen is a Distinguished Fellow of the Center for American Greatness and a professor and writer in residence at Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts, in Warner, New Hampshire. …
The year was 1876, the centennial of the Declaration of Independence, and a young Pole, a promising author, was traveling through the United States with the most renowned Polish actress of her time, Helena Modjeska, and her husband, and a few other young people. They were trying to rid themselves of the miseries of a nation they loved, which for many years had been gobbled up by its greedy neighbors, and which, when the man died 40 years later, had still not regained its independence.
They were going to move to California to do ranching and farming, in an idealistic commune after the fashion of Brook Farm, but reality intruded, the project fell through, Mrs. Modjeska returned to the stage (much to the delight of Americans), and the young man, Henryk Sienkiewicz, began to make a name for himself, writing his own impressions of democracy in America, to be published back home—in the land he loved so dearly, the land to which he would return, the land and its Christian faith, that would inspire all his greatest works. …