The American Spirit in Microcosm
This letter, whether real or apocryphal, is fascinating because it shows both the best of the American Spirit (the individualist "can-do" attitude) and its fatal flaw, i.e. the attempt to justify the good on altruistic grounds (e.g. justifying his existence by the jobs he created and the charity he indulged in). When Americans can simply say, "I create" or "I produce" and that is why I'm good, the battle will be won. It's up to us to show them why that's true.