Winter 1966 • Vol. XXVIII No. 1 Book ReviewsJanuary 1, 1966 |

The Education of Daniel J. Boorstin

The Americans: The National Experience by Daniel J. Boorstin. Random House, $8.95. Daniel J. Boorstin's repudiation of the Communist Party is long since behind him, but his effort to atone for what he would be the first to call his intellectual sins is an apparently endless process. No other American historian of our time is so ridden—so imaginatively dominated—by memories of the 1930s. Although he has frequently been criticized for his habit of foreshortening history, his simple-minded panning from then to now, actually the gravest fault in his work is not that he is presenticentric but that he is haunted by the ghost of his youth. The Americans: The National Experience has—to be sure—many admirable qualities. Like Boorstin's earlier volume on the colonial period, it displays an immense zest for historical research, an analytical skill which is often brilliant, and a supple literary style. But what robs these volumes of their potential greatness, incredibly vulgarizes

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The Nightclerk

By Irving Malin

The Americans: The National Experience by Daniel J. Boorstin. Random House, $8.95. Daniel J. Boorstin's repudiation of the Communist Party is long since behind him, but his effort to atone […]

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