Written by a likable Scottish visiting professor of history, this is a brief book concerned with the American impact on the world and the present appeal of the American way of political life. The book is divided into five essays. In the first two, A World They Never Made and A Challenge to Democracy, the author outlines various crises in American history, which marked changes in the American political nature and in Europe's attitude toward the U.S. He deals with the present American disillusionment in Asia and the Near East and attempts to explain it in terms of the American attitude of optimism and belief in progress and the natural goodness of man. In The Character of American Life he defines some distinctly American traits and discusses the mechanics of the political system and its relevance to the contemporary world of political competition. In essays on Education and Culture he distinguishes between the achievements of an egalitarian and European society and he points out what he calls the great American educational superstition: that all that must be needed or learned can be taught. Though basically sound there's actually nothing here that is new or exciting enough to merit special attention. No one is going to quarrel with the author's proposition that the battle for the minds of men depends on more than increased production of consumer goods. This reads like lecture notes and commentary rather than the witty, perceptive writing on other countries, other peoples that characterized some of his earlier books.