American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot by Craig Ferguson

★★★★★ (5/5)
• And then all of a sudden we were standing in front of Mr. and Mrs. Cheney and being introduced. I felt a little awkward; I’m always a bit shy around evil people, so Megan took the lead

• When the American GIs turned up in Glasgow, en route to Europe, they must have seemed like gods for their white teeth and lack of rickets alone.

• So they did the best they could for their family, though it left little time for emotional connection. It was as if too many outward displays of affection were a luxury better suited to the rich, or the English

• It didn’t really hurt as much as you would think, but the shock of the attack and the anxious urgency of the viciousness startled me and left me shaking from the adrenaline rush

• The noise of New Yorkers going about their business is a hell of a shock to the uninitiated

• There seem to come times when certain towns find a rhythm and a style that defines them and fascinates outsiders. San Francisco and Liverpool in the sixties, L.A. in the seventies, Manchester and Seattle in the nineties. For a short while in the eighties, Glasgow enjoyed that kind of a groove

• The only other place I’ve been to that seems comparable to me is Moscow, where the cold, the vodka, the misery, the literature and ballet, the depression and violence, the music, art, and humor all combine in a very familiar recipe

• I looked at my companions, nothing seemed to be changing in their world but something very wrong was happening in mine.

• I sometimes wonder if fear isn’t just God’s way of saying, ‘Pay attention, this could be fun.

• For all its macho posturing, Scotland is not a patriarchy but a matriarchy. The women run things. Certainly that’s how it was in my family

• Not only because we value democracy and the rights of the individual but because we are always our own most effective voice of dissent

• Nothing at first, then a relentless build of emotion that rises unremittingly like a winter tide and threatens to engulf you

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