This is the second of a new series of annuals, taking- each year- the opportunity to assess the lasting value of writings of 100 years ago. The year 1848 is singularly fruitful and provocative; world events were marching to a terrific climax and writers here were stimulated by the momentum. It was a violent and exciting year on both sides of this continent-from the discovery of gold in California, to local excitements on the east coast. Where democracy was struggling for a place in the sun-today democracy seems struggling for survival. What was America writing and reading? Our own writers included such names as Thoreau, Dana, Lowell, Poe. The advisory committee on this project guarantees thoughtful study and measured judgment, with such names as Kenneth Roberts, Edgar Lee Masters, Arthur Kroch, Franklin P. Adams and Robert Van Gelder among those present. A book for study groups and colleges.