Books: Early Stages

THE ROOTS OF AMERICAN CULTURE—Constance Rourke—Harcourt, Brace ($3).

In her first six books,* the late Constance Rourke revealed something of the abundance and variety of American folk culture. She labored to bridge the cleavage between the fine arts and the popular and practical arts of common life. When she died, last year, she was a little like a pioneer whose imitators, lacking her simple, sincere feeling for the authentic, deep-buried roots of U.S. life, were busily taming her savage sector into a profitable, suburban truck garden.

The Roots of American Culture, edited after...

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