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Daniel J. Boorstin, one of America's great historians, focuses on American ingenuity and emergent nationalism in this middle book of the Americans trilogy, dealing with a period extending roughly from the Revolution to the Civil War. Like its two companion volumes, The National Experience is a sometimes quirky look at how certain patterns of living helped shape the character of the United States. The book simply overflows with ideas, all of them introduced in entertaining chapters on subjects such as the New England ice industry and the boomtowns of the Midwest.
Boorstin is a delight to read, a genuine polymath whose wide-ranging interests and love of learning show up on every page. --John J. Miller [via]