Books: Two Americas

THE BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES 1950 (452 pp.) —Edited by Martha Foley—Houghton Mifflin ($3.75).

THE SATURDAY EVENING POST STORIES 1949 (314 pp.)—Random House ($2.75).

If a visiting anthropologist who knew very little about the U.S.—say, Englishman Geoffrey Gorer—were to read these two collections of stories, he might easily conclude that the U.S. is suffering from a hopeless schizophrenic split. And he might get just as wildly off base by picking up either one by itself.

From Miss Foley's anthology, he could argue that the U.S. is psyche-deep in insecurity, addicted to the subtle analysis of...

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