THE AMERICAN STORY by Archibald MacLeish


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An erruption of extremely chauvinistic poetical literature seems to be one of the uncomfortable manifestations of the war. Here's another evidence -- in an historical -- poetical pageant, a pot-pourri of source book gleanings from America north and south. The material itself is admirable and moving; there's the grave, stately periods of Columbus' diary, the exact and thrilling words of early navigators and explorers; the tallest of tall tales spun from Amerigo Vespucci's own words; the descriptions of the golden Inca city by an eye witness, the stories of Montezuma, of Governor Bradford, of Nat Bacon, etc. There are little known sources tapped, and rare tales -- a rich literary heritage. But -- why -- oh why such a featherbed of pompous nonsense in which the nuggets are buried? Strung out in pseudo form with narrator, incidental music, no end of bombast, sentimentality, false dramatization. One can only conclude with Edmond Wilson that again ""Archie is wired for sound""...The market will be chiefly on the MacLoish name.

Pub Date: Nov. 30th, 1944
Publisher: Duell, Sloan & Pearce