JOURNEY INTO AMERICA by Donald Culross Peattie
Kirkus Star


Email this review


I like this better than anything Donald Culross Peattie has ever written -- and that is saying a great deal. I'd like to feel that it was going to be easy to spot the many thousands who would feel as I do about this, once they were caught by the contagion of Peattie's eagerness to show others the heart and soul and spirit of America, not through the obvious places and people and things, the monuments to great events, and the shrines of great heroes, but through the lesser known villages, the legends and traditions and stories that have been handed down, the clues leading off beaten tracks to the essential America. Here's a book that indicates a vast storage house of knowledge and understanding, and yet never does the reader feel talked down to, or made uncomfortably aware of his own ignorance. Rather is it an opening of hidden doors, a sharing of sympathetic going back into the past, reinterpreting the present. One can always assume that any book of Peattie's will delight those who share his love of nature and beauty, his unique ability to reflect it in limpid, colorful prose. But this has a strength and power that some of his other work lacked. This book makes one stretch beyond one's reach -- and feel the better for it. This is adventuring into America, historically, geographically, biographically. It is fragmentary, but it blends into a whole. George Washington, and his mother; Kit Carson, Jim Bridger, Daniel Boone -- from new angles; equally important the nameless men of Marblehead; there's sea and mountain and inland reaches; there's east and west, north and south; there's Atlantic and Pacific. Sell it to your Peattie audience, yes; but sell it too, because it is America. Peattie, himself, is in it -- this is his and his wife's adventure, and his boys, and yours and mine, and the members of the Rotary Club, and all who know themselves Americans -- and world citizens. This does -- in broader reach -- what Benet's Western Star does.

Pub Date: Sept. 21st, 1943
Publisher: Houghton, Mifflin