Is the Common Man Too Common? An Informal Survey of Our Cultural Resources and What We Are Doing about Them


In 1922 the late Harold Stearns edited a sensational symposium to which many intellectuals of that post-war generation contributed. Though it was called Civilization in the United States, many of the participants seemed to feel that there wasn't any, and part of the book's considerable success was due to the acerbity with which they said so.

The present volume, though more sharply focused, really considers the same subject from a different point of view. During the more than thirty years which have passed since the earlier symposium a distinctive American civilization has not only taken on a much more clearly defined outline but also given rise to the hope or fear that it prefigures the future, not only in the United States but in the world at large.

Few believe now, as it was fashionable to believe in the twenties, that a wise man will merely denounce the alleged crudities of a new barbarism and go elsewhere. For one thing there is no longer anywhere else to go..


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