IMAGE OF AMERICA by R. L. Bruckberger
Kirkus Star


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Reported earlier, in the March 15th bulletin, as follows-before its postponement for selection by the Book of the Month Club as the Midsummer co-selection: ""An engaging, original and sympathetic portrait of America, which its author, once chaplain general of the Resistance in France, now scholar, a priest of the Dominican order, resident (for eight years) in America, has drawn. To his aim of persuading Europeans that America is still the hope of the world, he argues that Europe is still under the sway of ideological abstractions, either the economic systems of Adam Smith or Ricardo, or their antithesis, Marxism. In America he finds the middle way, the third force, pragmatism, regard for the individual. He marvels at the freedom our widespread wealth, the cooperation of management and labor, our virtually classless society gives us. He illustrates his thesis first by referring to our Puritan heritage, the founding Fathers, and then- surprisingly enough- selecting from our economic history two figures, the economist and philosopher, Henry Charles Carey, virtually forgotten here, and Henry Ford. The one taught that money was a means not an end; the other that our future lay in cheap mass production. This book has enormous charm and some interesting insights. Bruckberger obviously likes us, and is determined to tell his fellow Europeans why there is little ground for the prevailing sour opinion. Americans will find him disarmingly flattering, in a readable, provocative book. With so many pointing out our weaknesses, it may be a good thing to provide some support for understanding- and sustaining- our strengths.

Pub Date: July 13th, 1959
Publisher: Viking