I began writing a book on..
I began writing a book on love because I felt that the United States is moving away from love.
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You probably don't need more weapons than what's required to destroy every city on earth. There's only 2,300 cities. So, the United States, by that criteria, only needs 2,300 nuclear weapons - well, we've got more than 25,000!
I'm very optimistic because I think that the real strength of a nation like the United States comes from blending cultures. There's no way that you can close the frontiers anywhere. The borders are there to be violated permanently.
There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.
On a Tuesday, September 11th, 1973, we had the military coup in Chile that forced me to leave my country eventually. And then, on a Tuesday, September 11th, 2001, we had the terrorist attack in the United States.
I did not intend to stay; I had no experience in the United States - I may have been here less than 24 hours - but I knew I would never get inside there. And 'there' not being America necessarily, but that harmonious mode of living that some people are lucky enough to have in this country.
We're in an emergency situation. The United States has become an absolutely terrifying country, and I would hope that I could participate in some way in stopping the horror and the brutality.
I grew up. I began to think the United States had some problems that really required the help of artistic people to solve. And I gave myself permission to be a writer instead of a civil servant.
The genius of the United States is not best or most in its executives or legislatures, nor in its ambassadors or authors or colleges, or churches, or parlors, nor even in its newspapers or inventors, but always most in the common people.
I was distressed that after 9/11, when the United States was attacked by terrorists, the United States' response was to attack Afghanistan, where some of the terrorists had been.
I think I shall return to America even a better patriot than when I left it. A citizen of the United States, travelling on the continent of Europe, finds the contrast between a government of power and a government of opinion forced upon him at every step.
I had just been in some repressive situations - the black middle-class college scene and the crazy United States Air Force - and so I just felt like getting out of that. I thought, now, that I wanted to be a writer. I had something that I wanted to do, that I was interested in doing, so I wanted to pursue that.
My own thinking has evolved. You find Africanisms in American speech. You find an African influence on United States culture. There are all kinds of Africanisms in America, as you would expect, if you really thought about it... That whole thing is much broader; the influence is much broader than I first understood.
Beyond the borders of wealthy countries like the United States, in developing countries where most people in the world live, the impacts of climate change are much more deadly, from the growing desertification of Africa to the threats of rising sea levels and the submersion of small island nations.
I feel most at home in the United States, not because it is intrinsically a more interesting country, but because no one really belongs there any more than I do. We are all there together in its wholly excellent vacuum.
A certain number of Americans are already in Peking and most of us here feel that it would be very useful for the United States and especially for the Left-wing progressive movement in the United States if groups of students such as you mention could make a tour of China.
Having no diplomatic representation in Washington, China has no sources which allow her to check the character of applicants and therefore makes the practice of refusing everybody from the United States.
I would even go to Washington, which is saying something for me, just to glimpse Jane Q. Public, being sworn in as the first female president of the United States, while her husband holds the Bible and wears a silly pill box hat and matching coat.
Someone wrote a piece about Henry Green in The Partisan Review that was so intriguing that I got one of his novels, Loving, I believe, which was the first that came to attention in the United States.
My memoirs were written, and a portion of them already in the hands of the publishers, when the startling news came which has thrilled all Europe and filled her inhabitants with horror - the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States.
In the rich world, the environmental situation has improved dramatically. In the United States, the most important environmental indicator, particulate air pollution, has been cut by more than half since 1955, rivers and coastal waters have dramatically improved, and forests are increasing.
There was a series called 'Game of Thrones' which was very popular here in the United States, a post-Tolkien kind of thing. It was garbage, yet very addictive garbage - because there's lots of violence, all the women take their clothes off all the time, and it's kind of fun.
I realized that I was African when I came to the United States. Whenever Africa came up in my college classes, everyone turned to me. It didn't matter whether the subject was Namibia or Egypt; I was expected to know, to explain.
Say 'Toronto' or 'Ontario,' and the immediate thought associations are with a somewhat blander version of North America: a United States with a welfare regime and a more polite street etiquette, and the additionally reassuring visage of Queen Elizabeth on the currency.