This paper, written over a three year period, probes the 20th Century myth that America is THE land of the future. Much of the content is derived from what Americans themselves have written about the prospects for this influential nation. It attempts to avoid the shrill ‘anti-Americanism’ that is so common these days by taking a hard look at the model of development that it has promoted and that has been taken up around the world. It concludes that the myth cannot be sustained but that there are many paths out of the civilisational ‘dead end’ that current trends appear to foreshadow. The paper was published in Foresight Vol 10, No 4, 2008, along with five other short essays in response. This paper can be downloaded from the ‘General Futures’ page see link to the right.