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U.S. Reaction After 9-11 Betrayed "Spirit of Openness"

Silly politics on the cover of the Times Book Review: "...lifelong citizens under suspicion for having foreign-sounding names...."

Book Review contributor Liesl Schillinger earned the cover slot with her take on author Jhumpa Lahiri's short story collection "Unaccustomed Earth," about two generations of Bengali immigrants to America. Although Lahiri's new work sounds pretty apolitical, Schillinger managed to shoehorne in some particularly coarse liberal politics even before the jump page:



It's easy to forget, given the sensitivities that have been awakened in this country since 9/11, thrusting lifelong citizens under suspicion for having foreign-sounding names and subjecting visitors to the indignity of being fingerprinted, that America was conceived in a spirit of openness, as a land where people could build new identities, grounded in the present and the future, not the past. This dream, despite current fears, has in great part been made real.