THE WISDOM OF AMERICA by Lin Yutang
Kirkus Star

THE WISDOM OF AMERICA

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A potpourri of American writers made wholly his own by some elusive alchemy of personal acceptance and translation -- this book reinstates Lin Yutang as the urbane philosopher and commentator on ""the importance of living"". The two books can safely be linked in presenting this new volume to a public that has, perhaps, been somewhat disappointed in the Lin Yutang of more recent date. Here we have his own honest findings drawn from his adventures in reading. Here are the writers important to American thought. Here, through Chinese eyes, is a selectivity that is as diverse and catholic as conceivable, bringing into focus under one guise David Grayson, Santayana; the two Holmes, father and son; Thoreau and Emerson; E. B. White and Clarence Day and James Thurber; Lincoln, Jefferson, Franklin; Will Rogers; Einstein, and many more. Through his mind and imagination, through their words- and those of others-he has given us his summation of our way of life and love and work and play; of religion and democracy; of the arts of living; of laughter; of our hopes and fears and aspirations for a world at peace. Epigrams- his own and others- inextricably intertwined; philosophy- again his own and others; interpretation- often remote from our American thought. All in all, a stimulating and provocative book, well worth the difficulty in getting at the kernel, a book to stretch the mind.

Pub Date: June 15th, 1950
Publisher: John Day