How, then, did they do it? Why is it that Alfred North Whitehead was probably right to observe that there were only two known instances in Western history when the leadership of an emerging, imperial power performed as well, in retrospect, as anyone could reasonably expect? (The first was Rome under Caesar Augustus and the second was the United States in the late eighteenth century.) Why is it that there is a core of truth to the distinctive iconography of the American Revolution, which does not depict dramatic scenes of mass slaughter, but, instead, a gallery of well-dressed personalities in classic poses?
p. 16, Founding Brothers: the Revolutionary Generation, Joseph Ellis
When affluent Americans think about 'going green', they tend to focus on enhancements to their own consumption rather than on subtractions from it: buying a new, more fuel-efficient car (rather than driving less or taking the bus), building a new kitchen full of eco-friendly gadgets and exotic building materials (rather than deciding not to add yet another underused room to their house), replacing their old windows with high-tech new ones (rather than caulking air leaks, drawing the curtains during the day, and turning the air-conditioning down or off) and eating better-tasting chickens, tomatoes, and eggs.
p. 297-298, The Green Metropolis: Why Living Smaller, Living Closer, and Driving Less are the Keys to Sustainability.