In 1941, prior to the U.S.'s entry into World War II, the co-founder of this magazine, Henry Luce, penned an essay in LIFE that exhorted "unhappy" Americans, "[distracted] with lifeless arguments about isolationism," to "create the first great American century" -- the first, mind you, not the last. We are now entering the second decade of what will be an even more markedly American century; in fact, the Americanization of the world will characterize the foreseeable future far more than the past.
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