Books: American Ideas

THE AMERICAN SPIRIT — Charles A. Beard and Mary R. Beard—Macmillan ($5). .

This book is a summary of American thought and American civilization from John Adams to Franklin Roosevelt. As the fourth volume in Charles and Mary Beard's monumental Rise of American Civilization, it tries to define—after 2,629 pages of history in the first three books—the civilization they have described.

At 39, Charles Beard wrote an Economic Interpretation of the Constitution, father to a generation of muckraking biographies of the Founding Fathers, and one of the main bases of the economic and...

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