Before the Harvest: Before the Harvest

SALEM AND THE INDIES (468 pp.)—James Duncan Phillips—Houqhton Mifflin ($6).

No one has done for other fields what Van Wyck Brooks did for New England letters. No one has written a comparable flowering of American industry, or of American military or naval life. It may be that such works will never be written, that the American achievement in other spheres has been too diversified and chaotic, its conflicts too bitter, its heroes too narrow.

But there was one period—between the Revolution and the War of 1812—and one place, the ports of New England, when the...

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