Books: Things Past

QUIET CITIES—Joseph Hergesheimer—Knopf ($2.50). With a keen sense for things past, Hergesheimer revives the life of early American cities, immortalizing forgotten airs and manners in a prose of intricate beauty. His leisurely preface regrets the noise and bustle that have superseded simplicity. That done, he reverts to the thrilling intensity of Java Head, and recounts in a series of story-sketches the drama within quiet cities. In Albany Angenietje defies the customs of a stodgy Dutch community by marrying a British ensign who had survived Ticonderoga. At Natchez a steamboat card sharp turned respectable, acquired a Southern gentleman's plantation, only to lose...

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