Terry Eagleton has taken most conceivable opportunities to study Americans, not least his wife and three of his children. He has taught all over America in his travels as a visiting lecturer in English literature. And yet his observational powers have not benefited from his roving feet. He sheds little new light on that eternally interesting subject – why are we so different from Americans, despite a shared language and a largely shared lineage?
Here we go again over the old, much-trodden ground: a bit of de Tocqueville and a bit of stuff on how fat Americans are and how obsessed they are with money and religion. He’s like a left-wing Jeremy Clarkson: old American males on holiday apparently ‘wear their trousers too high