It is a very long journey from Cotton Mather's Man in a Boat, Rowing for Heaven to Billy Graham, Successful Debunker of Success, but the distance between these two points may not be so great after all, since American history can hardly be said to fly like a crow. Still there is no doubt that we now find ourselves across several definite boundaries and there is no turning back. Calling his book, quite justifiably, ""a pioneer effort to transcend the formal categories of sociology, literature, philosophy, religion, business management, economic theory, political science, social psychology, and history in treating a theme central to the understanding of the American national character,"" Mr. Rischin has selected and arranged his materials to excellent effect. In one volume he has managed to include not only all the basic ""scriptures"" in the uniquely American ideal of individual success, but also the ""strategic social facts"" which cast doubt on that ideal's validity, plus many of the most important commentaries on the relation of the whole mystique to our changed and still changing society. A good many of the selections are difficult to obtain elsewhere, and still more of them gain considerably in meaning when placed together in this manner. The introduction and notes supply all that is necessary, since most of the pieces speak very well for themselves. All together they provide a source book with many combined benefits--and a peripheral readability.