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July 04, 2005

Uniquely American

As I celebrate Independence Day today, I can't help but think back to a passage I read as I prepared for the CAE exam last fall. It seems that Alexis de Tocqueville noticed and wrote roughly 200 years ago that to solve problems, Americans banded together in ways quite uncommon to him as a European. The author of the chapter concluded that de Tocqueville had witnessed the American association industry in its infancy. Even to this day, associations continue to be largely an American phenomenon. In other countries, governments do much of the work that associations do in the USA. It occurs to me that if I didn't live in this country, I probably wouldn't be working for an association, and I quite certainly wouldn't be a CAE. That makes me feel all the more blessed to be an American. Happy Independence Day!

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