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“Authors Debate U.S., USSR Issues at Mt. Holyoke.” No Author. Springfield Union, 27 March 1952. Article-Interview. Report on a debate, titled “The U.S.A. or the USSR,” between Mailer and Dwight Macdonald at this private college in South Hadley, Mass. on 26 March. Macdonald’s speech, titled “I Choose the West,” was reprinted in his collection, Memoirs of a Revolutionist. New York: Farrar, Straus and Cudahy, 1957. Mailer’s speech was titled “I Cannot Choose,” and has never been reprinted, or located. While both agreed on the general superiority of Western civilization at that moment, Mailer feared the U.S. backsliding into a war economy, and the possibility of Europe either aligning itself with the USSR, or being attacked and conquered by it. If this happened, he said, there will be a lowering of the standard of living in the U.S, perhaps Nazi-like concentration camps for dissenters, and a general breakdown of moral values. “The independent spirit of non-conformity that the U.S. has founded is dying out,” he concluded.

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