The American dream has assumed many forms. For some it was the freedom to practice their faith. For others America has been the place to which they fl ed to escape persecution for their political views. Some have come to America for its space and natural grandeur, also a sort of freedom. We should not discount the importance of this motivation. The popular French television program Amérique dans tous ses états (Télévision française 2) is in large part a celebration of the vast expanses and glorious landscapes that European visitors have so often adored since the 18th century. From Chateaubriand to Baudrillard the idea of space and the special forms assumed by nature, and their impact on culture and the imagination in America, have fascinated European observers.