Books: America: Going, Going, Gone?

THE RECOVERY OF CONFIDENCE by John W. Gardner. 189 pages. Norton. $5.00.

THE AGE OF AQUARIUS by William Braden. 306 pages. Quadrangle. $7.95.

THE PURSUIT OF LONELINESS by Philip Slater. 154 pages. Beacon Press. $7.50.

THE END OF THE AMERICAN ERA by Andrew Hacker. 239 pages. Afheneum. $6.50.

"The youth of America is their oldest tradition," said Oscar Wilde. "It has been going on now for 300 years." The assumption that the U.S. is a young country has, in fact, been a national premise for hope and the future−an adrenalin charge of optimism no matter what...

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