From Imprimis, Phil Gramm on Reaganomics and the American character. Ralph Waldo Emerson’s famous call to independent thinking gave rise to every faddish movement in America, from birthers to Etsy to Blink — but enough is enough. Mitt Romney calls the United States “The Greatest Nation in the History of the Earth” — is he right? The trouble with keeping America "American": A single turn of phrase that encapsulates the best — and worst — of America has cropped up on the campaign trail, thanks to Mitt Romney. A review of Blue Collar Intellectuals: When the Enlightened and the Everyman Elevated America by Daniel J. Flynn. The end of the end of the frontier: Americans don’t really look for Mexico in Mexico — they look for a more perfect America, at once free of materialism and more conducive to it. David Berreby on Americans, an invented people. Tim De Chant on redrawing the United States of America. An interview with Joseph Schwartz, author of The Future of Democratic Equality: Reconstructing Social Solidarity in a Fragmented United States (and part 2). American Idol: Why early twentieth-century Americans — from anarchists to Baptist ministers — fell for the philosophy of Nietzsche (and more). On tyranny and liberty: Would the Founders approve of the nation we’ve made? The myth of the ’60s: An excerpt from What Really Happened to the 1960s: How Mass Media Culture Failed American Democracy by Edward P. Morgan. A look at 24 things other countries suspect about life in America. Five hidden messages in the American flag: Until 1912, there was no set design for the Stars and Stripes — and so, hidden in older versions of the flag, its makers laid hints of the country's history and quest for identity. Who believes in the American dream? The right says we can't afford it, but progressives have a chance to save the country.