Take a look at Americans in their natural habitat: men shopping for barbecue grills, doing that special walk men do when in the presence of hardware; super-efficient football mums who chair school auctions, organise the PTAs, and weigh less than their kids; and suburban chain restaurants, the Hard Rock Outback Cantina etc. Are they, or we, as the western world gradually becomes more and more similar, as shallow we look? Many around the world see America as the great bimbo. Naturally, they work hard and are energetic, but is that because they are money-hungry and don't know how to relax? David Brooks probes deeper, and explains that they behave the way they do because they live under the spell of paradise. Aren't we all? The inheritors of a sense of limitless possibilities, raised to think in the future tense and to strive toward the happiness we naturally accept, the fulfilment of our dreams.