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The combination of the James Truslow Adams name with the subject should result in a wide sale for this book, since there is a definite need for a good general history of England. In addition, this is eminently readable, an amazing piece of concentration of an enormous canvas into brief compass. Personally, I found the early history distinctly more interesting reading than the part after Elizabeth's reign. He gave an impression of more leisurely pace, he had more opportunity to present the ways of living and the changing face of the country. Naturally, from the Elizabethan period on the historical details were more cumbersome to handle, and one has an impression of a fast moving panorama, confusing only in the multiplicity of personalities and incidents. This is not history from the human angle. There is little emphasis on individuals and personalities, though time-honored legends are dealt with as they fit into the picture. Neither is it an exhaustive study of the social and economic conditions, except as they were major factors in his central thesis, ""the building of the British Empire"". This volume goes through the American Revolution, which is handled with extraordinary objectivity and fairness, and made a part of a larger picture rather than the all-important event which it seems, this side the water. With the granting of independence to the Colonies, England reached the end of her first empire. For readers wishing to supplement this with a volume dealing more specifically with the economic and social aspects, you might suggest A People's History of England, by A. L. Morton, which Random House is publishing on September 22nd. It is unlikely that this new volume will attain the sales of Adams' books dealing with the American scene, but it should prove long-lived and a dependable item for schools, colleges and public libraries.

Pub Date: Sept. 9th, 1938
Publisher: Scribner