The American preservation movement is nearly as old as the country itself,"" says Mr. Hosmer, and he proceeds to follow its history from Benjamin Latrobe's Pocket Diary of 1796 to 1926, when Rockefeller's Williamsburg and Ford's Dearborn Village changed the character of the movement. Interested in motivations and aims, procedures and personalities, the author writes of those who took up the cause in various areas of the country. There was Miss Ann Pamela Cunningham's impassioned campaign at the head of an army of women nationally organized to preserve Mount Vernon; Middle Atlantic states restoration of revolutionary sites; New England's militant preservation organizations; the West's history -minded pioneers who saved Father Serra's mission in Carmel. The national organizations such as the D.A.R. and the National Society of Colonial Dames; the fascinatory story of Monticello; the moving in of antiquaries, architects and museum directors the criteria for selecting buildings worth preservation; techniques and economics of restoration also come under consideration. Mr. Hosmer finds the movement indigenous, romantic, responsive to the times, with a strong educational and reform strain throughout. For amateur historian-preservationists and their organizations, proud Americana.