Books: A Chinese Babbitt

ON THE WISDOM OF AMERICA (462 pp.) —Lin Yufang—John Day ($5).

After more than ten years in the U.S., writing about China, Philosopher Lin Yutang settled down on the French Riviera last year to explore the mysteries of America. A glamorous, not to say exotic, figure when dishing out pearls of wisdom from the mysterious East, Philosopher Lin is a little like a peddler dealing out secondhand clothes when he begins thumbing through a Western library.

Picking up where he left off in The Importance of Living, Lin sets out to compile an anthology of American profundities. Instead, he shows a rare gift...

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