Books: In the American Grain

PENN STATE YANKEE (384 pp.) — Fred Lewis Pattee—Pennsylvania State College ($4.75).

Professor Fred Lewis Pattee had a conviction that he drummed into the heads of his students year after year: there is such a thing as American literature. Any green instructor can say it now with confidence, but when Pattee began to teach at Pennsylvania State College in 1894, it was gospel to consider U.S. letters as merely an inferior branch of English writing. In such books as A History of American Literature Since 1870 and Sidelights on American Literature, Pattee set...

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