TOMORROW'S AMERICAN by Samuel--Ed. Sandmel


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More Bicentennial soundings, this batch occasioned also by the hundredth anniversary of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion which accounts, presumably, for the presence of the one real attention-getter, Daniel Bell's scrutiny of New York Jewish Intellectuals, c. 1935-65. Hardly ""tomorrow's American""--but it is probably just as well that most of the participants pay only lip service to the label: Dr. Edward Patrick, who foresees a healthy future for all Americans (even ""handicaps will be turned into advantages through the availability of modern artificial organs""), is an embarrassment to the enterprise. Other contributions include a brief, informed consideration of American foreign policy by the late Alastair Buchan, a solid review of housing policy and programs by Robert Weaver, a spacious exploration of the American religious tradition by Martin E. Marty. Less substantive, more hortatory discussions of television's effects and of press freedom and responsibility are provided by Newton Minow and John B. Oakes respectively. The Bell piece, which proceeds from a history of the term ""intellectual"" and a portrait of the first American group, is richly accoutered, brisk, and intriguing. Why did the New Yorkers (here tabulated, Trilling to Howe to Sontag) come together as a group? Bell inquires. Why has so little been published about them? This particular entry is sure to reappear in a more relevant context, the others will serve their short-term purpose.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1977
Publisher: Oxford Univ. Press