THOSE COMMERCIAL AMERICANS. The Wall Street Journal on May 9 had an article by Jill Jonnes about the Eiffel Tower, which celebrated its 120th birthday on May 15. The article quoted from a protest by 47 prominent French intellectuals against the erection of the Tower, referred to as an “odious column of bolted metal.” The signatories included “painters Ernest Meissonier and William-Adolphe Bouguereau, writers Guy de Maupassant and Alexandre Dumas fils, composer Charles Gounod and architect Charles Garnier.” What struck me though was their statement that “the Eiffel Tower, which even commercial America would not have, is without a doubt the dishonor of Paris.” Even 120 years ago, the French were appalled by the commercialism of America.

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