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Are Americans stupid? Don’t be silly, says author Eagleton.

LONDON — Terry Eagleton first visited the United States in 1970. ‘‘Hair’’ was big on Broadway, and he was dragged along by some nuns who wanted to get up and dance on stage.

‘‘That would have been my first encounter with American euphoria — the upbeatness,’’ he tells me. It’s early on an overcast Saturday and, at the Holiday Inn in London’s Bloomsbury, euphoria seems scarce.

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