Books: Uplift under the Big Top

WE CALLED IT CULTURE (272 pp.]—Victoria Case and Robert Ormond Case—Doubleday ($3).

Millions of U.S. small-towners remember the institution called Chautauqua, usually with affection. For over half a century it gave to the culture-curious and the culture-hungry a tent show of live entertainment that ranged from the Kaffir Boys' Choir to a course on the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, from the measured comments of Viscount Bryce to the soaring platitudes of William Jennings Bryan. Carol Kennicott, the stifled and discontented heroine of Sinclair Lewis' Main Street, went to Chautauqua in Gopher Prairie and "was impressed by the audience: the sallow women...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!