To some, the very idea of optimism seems peculiarly American. In fact, the concept was German, the word was French, and the trait precedes nations altogether: it is baked into our DNA
Alycia Williamson-Smith and her family didn’t have anywhere else to turn. It had been days since a devastating tornado ravaged Joplin, Mo., home to her second cousin James Williamson
The baffling history of mankind is full of obvious turning points and significant events: battles won, treaties signed, rulers elected or deposed, and now, seemingly, planets conquered. Equally important are the great groundswells of popular movements that affect the minds and values of a generation or more, not all of which can be neatly tied to a time and place.
First, Terry Bigley watched the tornado overtake his television screen as it ripped through eastern Kansas toward Joplin, Mo., where he lived on the east side in an apartment with his wife. “They had a big picture of it,” he says of the local news station