U.S.A.: The  by Fortune -Editors of

U.S.A.: The

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is far from easy reading -- but there's plenty of ammunition here for controversy and plenty of solid meat for digestion. The end impression left is a heartening one, and should help everyone who reads it through to look at this U.S.A. with new eyes. Some will label it a potent defense of Capitalism, but the important point made is that Capitalism, American style, in the 1950's, is a dynamic force, composed of a social partnership in which labor and management are beginning to put aside antagonism for cooperation. Some will call it a defense of the materialistic conception of the American Way of Life, but the point here is that our way of life is built on Christianity, on a simple morality which permeates at all levels, on an acceptance by citizens of civic responsibility, on full citizenship in a modern society. The American Party system gets a thorough raking over, its strengths, its weaknesses, its differences from European political systems, analyzed. Our shortcomings in facing up to such problems as the Negro question, the relatively new problem of old age, are discussed-and progress is charted. Our three political principles of Liberty, Equality, Constitutionalism, are shown in their development, their application, their persistent power, as the rights of the individual (in business, politics, labor, community affairs) are a dominant thread through all our history. While the analytical approach will interest some readers, more readers will find the suggested path to solution the most challenging part of the book- the demand for retaining the true industrial democracy we have built, with government protecting people's initiative, promoting legislation to provide incentives for coherent social action, for private individual self-help projects, for strengthening the individual to implement the right to life. Our weak propaganda machine- our failure to sell the real America to the critical, hesitant world, the blunders of our foreign policy, all are presented as part of the picture. But again positive suggestions are made for working towards world community, even at sacrifice of sovereignty. Solid reading, the sections seemingly loosely integrated, but worth the effort. The book is an expansion of the February issue of Fortune.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1951
Publisher: Prentice-Hall