Utilitas 1 (1):112-134 (1989)

Abstract
Writing in the foreword to Allan Bloom's The Closing of the American Mind and speaking of his upbringing in Chicago between the wars Saul Bellow attests that …as a Midwesterner, the son of immigrant parents, I recognized at an early stage that I was called upon to decide for myself to what extent my Jewish origins, my surroundings [‘the accidental circumstances of Chicago’], my schooling, were to be allowed to determine the course of my life. I did not intend to be wholly dependent upon history and culture. Full dependency must mean that I was done for. The commonest teaching of the civilized world in our time can be stated simply: ‘Tell me where you come from and I'll tell you what you are’.
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DOI 10.1017/S0953820800000091
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