Books: Growth of Identity

THE AMERICANS: THE NATIONAL EXPERIENCE by Daniel J. Boorstin. 517 pages. Random House. $8.95.

"What then is the American, this new man?" Ever since Alexis de Tocqueville asked the question, historians have been trying to provide an answer—sometimes political (Clinton Rossiter), sometimes economic (Charles A. Beard), sometimes sociocultural (Perry Miller). Latest to make the attempt is Daniel Boorstin, Harvard-trained professor of American history at the University of Chicago, who acknowledges many centers of motivation, supplements his studies with insights drawn from psychology, sociology, political science, economics and literary criticism.

He is writing...

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