What is the American Spirit?
Ansel Head could never quite put his finger on the answer. There is something there though. He senses it in himself and in other Americans. It is stronger in some than others, but it is still there in most. When Americans are challenged, that’s when their spirit is most visible.
In other countries Head has visited, especially those where he could not sense that spirit, people call it arrogance. And they are right. Americans are arrogant, or said another way, proud. And they swagger about wearing that pride on their sleeves. This trait offends many intellectuals, even some in this country.
Is it Americans’ individualism; is it their hatred of losing; or is it their refusal to give up? More likely, it is a spirit found in almost everyone; but in America it is nurtured, allowed to mature, and rewarded.
Not being the intellecual in the family, Head lacked the words to describe this human spirit. But he can recognize it when he sees it.