The author aims to show how the story of the American people is revealed in their song; to provide an introduction to our national song heritage, and to indicate its extent, variety and beauty; to make some little known singing materials easily and cheaply (note the paperback price) available; and, ""in response to many requests,"" to provide historical songs for use at various levels of the educational system. He has chosen songs which clearly and typically convey a given national mood or experience, songs which have ""the finest melodies and lyrics available,"" and which have proved effective and popular with modern audiences and singers, ""both student and adult."" Despite his allusion to ""typical,"" he has not always chosen the best known melody (witness his Nova Scotian version of ""I Will Give My Love an Apple"") but tempered it with his judgment of quality. With brief, effective introductions of each period, he moves from the Colonial (""Bawbee Allen"" and ""The Keys of Canterbury"") to the present day (""Bull Conner's Jail"" and ""Little Boxes""). His book contains 125 songs, pitched for the ordinary voice, with simple chord progressions noted where appropriate, asterisks to indicate those songs which are best unaccompanied. A good job.