Asserting central authority
I T WOULD be shortsighted indeed to try explaining the humanized landscapes of our 21st -century world without reckoning with the large, ever-expanding role of central authority: the workings of our moreor-less sovereign nation-states and their varied agents and deputies. Nowhere is this more apt than in the United States. Perhaps nowhere else is there stronger visible evidence of the power and universality of the governmental presence. Yet, surprisingly, to date only two scholarsl have seriously considered this focus on the visible scene anywhere on this earth.