THE SEARCH FOR IDENTITY by Roger L.-Ed. Shinn

THE SEARCH FOR IDENTITY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A bland cornflakes-for-breakfast collection of essays concerning Homo Americanus, his changing social shape, significance, and sense of national purpose. A number of ""names"" (e.g., Margaret Mead, Theodore Kheel, Kyle Haselden) write what can only be considered the advertising copy of their respective fields: sociology, politics, religion, psychology etc. It would be nice to announce exceptions, but aside from a few pungent paragraphs now and then, there's nothing much but the proliferation of ""provocative"" pieties like the articles in the Times Sunday Magazine section. And did you know a chasm exists between the American dream and deed, that we're full of conformity and diversity, that urbanization will ultimately help us to meet modern day challenges (poverty, race, ethical conflicts), that labor unions while corrupt are still the meliorists of the common man, that mass-communications are really not mass-minded, ""that one becomes a self only within a group or a people,"" that novelists should get out of the private sector and back into the public one....? The editor concludes with a call for a ""proper activism."" Sponsored by the Institute of Religious and Social Studies, the book's symptomatic of the solemn banalities Foundations sometimes inspire.

Pub Date: Aug. 26th, 1964
Publisher: Harper & Row