Books: Kitchen Matches in the Dark

THE MIDDLE AMERICANS by Robert Coles. Photographs by Jon Erikson. 181 pages. Atlantic-Little, Brown. $12.50 hardcover, $3.95 paperback.

With such a title, Robert Coles could at first be mistaken for one of the people he desperately deplores—that complacent horde of pigeonholers, polltakers, politicians, consumer experts and scholars who seem bent on reducing vast groups of individual Americans to some neatly labeled lowest common denominator of fear, status, greed or need. Coles, after all, is a Harvard psychiatrist. He has been seen in the company of notebook and tape recorder. For more than a decade...

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