Continuing from Cities In The Wilderness. which traced a century of metropolitan growth, the present volume- centering around the major cities of New York, Boston, Newport, Philadelphia and Charleston covers the ever more tense and troubled years 1743-1776. Significantly, the object is less to find in pre-Revolutionary times mere background for the ultimate act of freedom than to observe the emergence of the new social, political, economic patterns, and especially the formation of the distinctive character and spirit of the individual American. All this becomes palpable through everyday matters of fact: the forms and leaders of municipal government, ordinances to meet health and fire hazards, famous counterfeiters and confidence men, public morals, religious currents, cock fighting and other favorite sports, the development of book trade and the general role of cultural values... Making fullest use of an imponderable wealth of papers and periodicals, Mr. Bridenbaugh constantly lends immediacy to each event with names, remarks, personal eccentricities, etc. so that not a single page seems distant or didactic. Apt to be acclaimed by historians and a general audience for its vitality and thoroughness.