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When people in public life reappear on the stage, when a particular style or fashion once again becomes the center of attention, we refer to it as a comeback.

Lists of the greatest sports, musical and political comebacks in history are nowadays just a mouse-click away. Personalities who have achieved great things are branded onto our collective memory as unforgettable, people such as the boxer Cassius Clay, who in 1967 became a draft dodger and had to give up his promising career, but then three years later made a magnificent comeback as Muhammad Ali. He became world champion, and his fights against top opponents went down as the greatest in boxing history. We want to break the mold here a little and apply this striking term–comeback–to an entire nation.…