HOW AMERICA LIVES by J.C. & The staff of The Ladies' Home Jour Furnas
Kirkus Star


Email this review


I read these profiles of Americans with a certain tightening of the throat, and an indefinable glow of patriotism. (And I'm not given to turning semtimental over the Stars and Stripes, at least not when I am reading with critical ear to the ground.) After all, I felt, no matter what the social and economic level, ""we have something"" -- and every one of these families came alive for me, so that I, too, was interested in the brief summaries, bringing them up to date, in one of the last chapters. What the Lynds did for those whose sociological training and interest leads them to read and interpret (Middletown and Middletown in Transition), J.C. Furnas has done for the man in the street. His interpretation is in warm human tones, with high notes of valor, and sheer guts, for undertones. The chapters ran in the Journal, and the last part sums up the findings, in broader terms of their significance the country over, -- in the questions of what America ats, of what they wear, of how they amuse themselves, of what types of houses they prefer, given a choice, of how they furnish and decorate those houses. Here is no rosy spectacled vision, but a challenge even to those Americans who have equal resourcefulness and courage in the face of odds, to do even better. Furnss has, with no sense of intrusion, taken off the roofs and let us peek within. The procedure followed in the survey, the follow through done by the Journal editors, the 50 pages of illustrations all help crystallize the stories themselves. The publishers are backing this with wide advertising and trade promotion. Don't miss it. It has wide popular appeal.

Pub Date: Feb. 27th, 1941
Publisher: Henry Holt