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The All-American Tendency to “Take a Chance”

Commentator Thea Marshall looks at the all-American tendency to “take a chance,” to take a risk, to gamble. Historian and author David G. Schwartz wrote that gambling is as American as apple pie and much older than the Mayflower. It is something deep in the nation’s bones and reflected not only in games of chance but in the stock market and entrepreneurship. There is, he writes, a straight line—a legacy—from the early settlers and the plantation grandees to today’s visitors to the Las Vegas Strip. None of these people mind taking a chance.