AMERICANS ESCAPING THEIR PAST. One reason that people have been able to escape their pasts and start new lives in America is that there is an American ideal that people should be able to start over. A nation of immigrants is a nation of people who started over. There is an acceptance of strangers and a reluctance to inquire into past embarrassments. Some of the criminals that Bill James writes about (John List, Erich Muenter) were spotted in their new identities but were not immediately reported to the authorities.

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  1. Henry Nejako says:

    NPR’s “All Things Considered” this week had an interview of Tom Hanks where he said that junior college is a great place to meet people reinventing themselves. See transcript at paragraph beginning “And we were in the same exact boat as far as our fears go and our possibilities for what the future was. I was just starting out my adult life, and they were all starting out brand-new versions of what their adult life was going to be….”

  2. Philip says:

    Community colleges are greatly underrated. Our Norwalk Community College is a wonderful institution. The Wall Street Journal had an article a couple years ago noting that if you want to find out where the job opportunities are, you should look at what the community colleges are teaching. They know what’s happening and respond quickly. And the courses for retired people are terrific.

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