ONE AMERICAN TOWN by Donald S. Connery


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Through a patchwork of impressions, statistics, commentary by townspeople and savants past and present, historical notations and incidental reportage, Connery takes his Connecticut village through the seasons, portraying a once cohesive semi-rural community. He records stasis and on-going change while chronicling town activities -- PTA gatherings, church doings, town meetings and elections, Memorial Day festivities, even a sugaring off party. Throughout he searches for determining community attitudes: the abhorrence of a ""welfare"" society; avoidance of dissension on controversial issues; worry about outside ""invasions""; suspicion of relationships beyond one's socioeconomic level; a resistance to ""state"" planning and regionalization. Yet in this town where family, church, and schools ""count,"" there is a fatalistic acceptance of the existence of change in surrounding areas. There have been piecemeal efforts to deflect the tide of development which would alter the independent character of the town such as zoning and political moves to retain control of districting. Connery leaves the question open as to whether encroachment is a ticking time bomb or merely another phase the community can absorb. In an afterthought he hopes for a transference of village fraternity to the whole human family -- although villagers might equate this with whistling in the dark. Not as insightful as Anthony Bailey's In the village (1971) but it gets to the crux of the rural town crisis -- growth may mean annihilation of a way of life desirable to many.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1972
Publisher: Simon & Schuster