Books: 80 Years with Dos Passos

CHOSEN COUNTRY (485 pp.)—John Dos Passos—Houghton Mifflin ($4).

John Dos Passos' massive, radical trilogy, U.S.A. (1930-36), sizzled with social protest, sent admiring critics scurry-ng to Balzac and Tolstoy for comparisons. Now a mellow 55, Dos Passos has put together a long, loose chronicle that parallels the history of many an intellectual of his own generation.

Chosen Country spraddles some 80-odd years of American life (1848-1930), but ;he only ground it really covers is from soapbox to soap opera and back. To hold that ground, Dos Passos mobilizes a small army of characters, chief among...

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