There's no doubt that America is defined primarily by its people. It is a deservedly positive view of our nation, because we have managed to take a melange of people and cultures and make of them something approaching a unified whole—or at least a population that gets along well enough most of the time.
But to be an American is also to occupy a particular place on the planet, a landscape that shapes who we are. Our nation's natural topographies and imposed geometries tell a lot about us, and they resonate within us when we look across this land.
all photographs © 2009 Susan Mitchell