an American's Reflections - Stephen Lapeyrouse’s website

The Search for the “American Dream”
Selected essays

Preface for Russian edition

The essays translated into Russian for this book collection were originally written, and are now reintended, to help give insights and understanding primarily into America(n), the United States of America, its “ideas/ideals”, it history, psyche, national identity, its place in history…

Most were originally written for the newspaper English, a supplement to the educational publication First of September, beginning in 1995 in Moscow. My task was to present interesting, stimulating, insights and ideas, from my view as an American, to its EL readers across Russia; thus it was published under the rubric “American Reflections”. (In the 1990s there were not so many ways to reach a national readership in English; First of September’s English was one.)

Those were very different historical times than the Russia in which these essays are republished (2015) as well as whenever in the future you as a reader read “now” these words.

They were written then, and republished, with a view, effort and hope which would surpass the common level of most often all-too-human merely mundane critiques and condemnations of opposing socio-economic-political systems. To allude to my book Towards the Spiritual Convergence of America and Russia, they would contribute to “spiritual nationality”, rather than merely “American” or “Russian” nationalities. They are – with their publication in Russian – directed to a different readership in a different time, but nonetheless to the individual person who wishes personally to gain insights into the themes and subjects which the essays address, and were and are in no way intended to support or augment perennial, national, political critiques – erudite or ignorant. (Those who seek to find in these essays materials with which to critique and condemn are asked to look elsewhere – including into a mirror.)

Those who wish to gain deeper insight – with sympathy – into America(n) will hopefully find these essays of some interest and help. Certainly there are a multitude of works which address these themes, but these were originally written in Russia in English for Russians by their author, who certainly did so with a sympathy to Russia.

Please note that these and many others of my essays, articles, interviews and the book Towards the Spiritual Convergence of America and Russia are available on my new bilingual website “an American’s Reflections” («Американские Размышления») www.americanreflections.net

The fact that these essays appear at all in Russian is due to the interest, enthusiasm, and long hard work of Constantin Kuznetsov. If it were not for his unstinting and meticulous labors and efforts, these essays might well never have appeared in Russian. If they are of benefit to you as a reader, bear in mind that first thanks are due to him.

Stephen Lapeyrouse

Moscow, May 2015

CONTENTS

The Search for the “American Dream”

Notes on the Lost Cosmos of American Culture

Contrasting Ideas of Man – The “American Creed” vs. the “Perennial Philosophy”

The Call of Spiritual Nobility: Yasna 30.9, the Necessary “City on a Hill”, and the Apocatastasis of Man

What is Hidden Behind the American Smile?

Understanding the Americans?

Man – the Troubled Creature Which Seeks Spiritual Sleep

Pushkin Square – June 6, 1986

America: the Only Reality?

“Gazing in the Face of Death...” – The Memento Mori of “September 11, 2001”