Donald Culross Peattie lends wings to words; his prose has a poetic quality that raises even somewhat pedestrian exposition to unexpected heights. Perhaps because of this gift this collection of pieces on the American spirit which have appeared over the years in The Reader's Digest carries more impact than the actual substance would suggest. The selection of material has been made to meet a request from his son- with the USIA in Cambodia- for something of American history, its institutions, its great men, its monuments, its symbols. He has injected into his portrait of America more than externals; the spirit of freedom and its significance is here. But mainly he writes of our flag, of the American eagle, of Washington and its historic buildings,- the White House, Arlington, the Capitol, the Library, the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials, the Washington monument. He writes too of people,- R. E. Lee, Father Serra and his missions, Lotta Crabtres and the '49ers. He writes of the opportunities motoring affords to listen to the heart of the country. This is a book many people will need; it should open eyes to things half seen, little understood- and in so doing it will do its part in making better Americans.