THE AMERICAN EXPERIMENT: Perspectives on 200 Years by

THE AMERICAN EXPERIMENT: Perspectives on 200 Years

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The five addresses in this small, self-congratulatory volume were delivered in Boston as part of that city's Bicentennial festivities. The book is prefaced by a few words from Kevin H. White, Mayor, and the original idea for these civic ""forums,"" we are told, came from Abram T. Collier, Chairman of the New England Mutual Life Insurance Company; he tries to reassure everyone present that ""rituals and symbols"" of citizenship are important to national self-esteem. The contributors include the editor Bass, Professor of History and Social Science at Boston University, who delivers stern warnings against the ""twentieth-century corporate revolution"" which is diminishing our freedom through ""institutional aggrandizement."" Creeping bureaucracy threatens our ""wholeness, dignity, and autonomy."" Hannah Arendt manages momentarily to undercut the prevailing smugness by pointing to the growth of ""criminality in government"" and the dangerous dominance of Madison Avenue image-makers in our national politics. John Lindsay, ex-Mayor of foundering New York City, hopes that America will again be known around the world for the writings of Jefferson and Lincoln rather than the exploits of IT&T, Exxon and the CIA. The audience of ""political, business, and educational leaders"" discusses each speaker's address and Bass has homogenized their comments nicely. It's bound to be widely distributed in Boston's secondary schools.

Pub Date: Jan. 23rd, 1975
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin