A symposium of American thought and literature in relation to ""the democratic spirit"" and a superb piece of editing and selection. From the Mayflower to The Grapes of Wrath, the record is there for all to see -- there is a cross section of social, political, economic, religious, intellectual, yes, even humorous philosophy -- each contribution selected because of its bearing on the development of democratic thinking and feeling. Brief biographical notes are packed with meat -- interpretive rather than purely in character, and indicating how and why the writers belong in such a gallery. The material is stimulating and exciting reading, often challenging, and singularly modern in spirit. Here is a book for all time, which the layman with a speech to make, a paper to prepare, or an urge to enrich his own background and understanding of what America means will find packed full of the very substance he seeks.