INSIDE THE U.S.A. by John Gunther
Kirkus Star


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It is easier to say what this isn't than what it is. It isn't a guide-book; I could wish for more of the sort of writing revealed in such bits as his description of the wheatfields of Washington. It isn't kraking expose; some will feel that he is unselective, chauvinistic, even though he does get in some honest criticism. It isn't propaganda; most of it is straight fact, observation information; but he loses no chance to combat race- particularly anti-Negro- prejudice. It isn't a regional book, a history, a book of American folkways... It is sharply contemporary; it cuts a swathe from Pacific to Atlantic, from the Great Lakes to the Rio Grande. The balance is sometimes out of line. Cities such as the Twin Cities, Washington, D. C., Detroit (aside from its motor empire) will feel slighted. Some regions -- notably the Southwest, aside from Texas, and New England; will feel that space could have been borrowed from California and New York, and expended elsewhere. There is singularly little feel of place as such; rather does he give the political complexion and its roots, the industrial complexion; the big personalities of the moment (particularly presidential possibilities). There is comparatively little said of Labor (though Walter Reuther is skillfully sketched, while Lewis and Bridges are given short shrift). There's an enormous amount of incidental intelligence on what he describes as this ""detail chocked, multi-colored journey"". A composite introduction to the U.S.A., invaluable for the visitor, the newcomer, and packed with nourishment for the inquiring mind of Mr. Average American Citizen.

Pub Date: May 28th, 1947
Publisher: Harper