Books: From Rags to Rages

I'M REALLY DRAGGED BUT NOTHING GETS ME DOWN by Nat Hentoff. 127 pages. Simon & Schuster. $3.95.

Horatio Alger's Ragged Dick, Tattered Tom and Ben the Luggage Boy—those brave little ragamuffins of a century ago—have long since petrified into pillars of the community. Sweet were their uses of adversity, as they parlayed pants patches into stock certificates. One hundred years later, their progeny are fine specimens of progressive pediatrics, John Dewey and a high-protein diet. Rags have become the symbol of riches. Youthful outcries against the system, the Establishment and middle-class consuming have...

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