This is the winner of a Knopf Literary Fellowship -- a substantial biography of George Sancroft, historian, politician, representative of the ""flowering of New England"". His life ""impinged in some way on nearly every point of the perimeter of his times, -- Transcendentalism, literary romanticism, politics, nationalism, reform"". He was a paradoxical personality, an aristocrat yet a lover of the masses, a realist with shrewd sense and an idealist, temperamentally uncertain yet widely liked, a scholar and a man of action. His life reflected the variety of his abilities, as educator historian, politician, diplomat. Between posts he completed his ten volume history which achieved tremendous popularity, and at the age of seventy odd he revised it for more modern tastes and wrote additional volumes. An important figure in his times, he is here given full appraisal. But as a person he lacked magnetism; his biographer has handled his subject impersonally; and we doubt the popularity of the book with the general reader.