Books: Grand American Tour

THE CONFIDENT YEARS (1885-1915) 627 pp.)—Van Wyck Brooks—Dutton : ($6).

One of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken by an American writer is now complete. At 65, Van Wyck Brooks has produced the fifth and final volume of a 20-year labor of learning: Makers and Finders: a History of the Writer in America, 1800-1915.

In many ways The Confident Years (1885-1915) is the liveliest and most disciplined book of the five. If it lacks the cameo charm of The World of Washington Irving, it also avoids the saccharine traces of The Flowering of New England....

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