There is a growing need in our time for publications that throw light on ‘the other America’ — the spiritual America so easily buried under a stereotypical image of materialism.

The present book, AMERICA AND AMERICANISM, by Dr. Zeylmans van Emmichoven, a prominent Dutch psychiatrist and devoted student of Rudolf Steiner and his work, enables us to gain a glimpse into that which lies beneath the surface, where the true potential of the American people still remains to be discovered. Zeylmans, who died in 1961, had travelled extensively. On two occasions, he went around the world and made several visits to the United States. Fluent in a number of languages, he spanned the globe with worldwide interest in everything that met his open heart and keen mind. His sympathetic approach was not without discernment. Receptivity was combined with a sharp gaze, directed to current affairs and the day-to-day details of life. All this he surveyed, endowed with a deep spirituality that was never cumbersome. In his lectures and private conversations, one relished his sense of humor.

Although some of the instances that he met with in America may seem a little dated, for his journey took place some thirty years ago, the essence that he gleaned from his experiences is as valid now as it was then.

Anyone interested in seeing America in a new light would benefit from reading this book. Zeylmans does not come to his conclusions philosophically; rather, with him, we learn to read the phenomenology, the signs of the times, through which wider vistas become apparent. America is truly the New World. Spiritually, it has to grow up so that it can play its part fully in the world of the future. Out of the darkness that still obtains in spite of the light-filled promise, the spiritual America is emerging into consciousness and freedom. At the beginning of the third century of its development, it is awakening to its true task in the world.

—René M. Querido



This little work attempts to give the reader a brief knowledge of the nature of the American people. The author had been to America three times during which he made extended journeys throughout the country lecturing at universities as well as for social and scientific organizations. He was able thereby to discover how difficult it is to become truly familiar with the so very complex American people.

Although the largely negative, rash judgments which so easily arise in Europe may well hold true with respect to ‘Americanism’, the author of this book nevertheless was able to discover a quite different, deep and noble America.

It is precisely this antithesis which the author has so splendidly sketched.

Chapter I