10-minute review: An assessment of where we human beings are in the history of our existence in the world, with the atomic bomb the symbol of humanity's willful desire for self-destruction. But it may not be a world completed and, in the future, we could make a world in which its fragmented nature of today will be put together with some sense of meaning.
Quote: “…but on the visible evidence, we must admit that in human nature, the spirit of contradiction more than holds its own. Mankind has always built a little more than he has hither to been able or willing to destroy; got more children than he has been able to kill; invented more laws and customs than he had any intention of observing; founded more religions than he was able to practice or even to believe in; made, in general, many more promises than he could keep; and he has been known more than once to commit suicide through mere fear of death.” p. 196.
Best American Essays of the Century. Editors: Oates and Atwan.