Books: The Rough & the Smooth


Arthur M. Schlesinger—Mocm/7/on ($2).

Harvard Historian Schlesinger* is almost apologetic about this busman's holiday—a review of American books of etiquette from the 17th Century to the present day. "Nothing that concerns human beings can fail to concern the historian," he wrote; "the rise and progress of courtesy . . . deserves attention."

Rough, religious Americans of the 17th Century had a handful of homemade rules of etiquette that were ambitious ("Cloath your selves with the Silk of Piety, the Satin of Sanctity, the Purple of Modesty . . .") and sometimes blunt ("Fish and visitors stink in...

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