Work was a pyramid, he knew, built on day after solid day.
The country he had left thirty years ago had been a realistic place. There were political realities there, then and now, that precluded blind faith, that discouraged one from thinking that everything, always, would work out fairly and equitably. But he had come to believe such things in the United States. Things had worked out. Difficulties had been overcome. He had worked hard and achieved success. The machinery of government functioned. Even if in New Orleans this machinery was sometimes slow, or poorly engineered, generally it functioned. But now nothing worked. Or rather, every piece of machinery—the...