The Image: Or What Happened to the American Dream
by Daniel J. Boorstin
Atheneum, 1962, 315 pp., $5.00
In his study of English poetry and its resources, F. W. Bateson quips about “the non-ruling classes who are more planned against than planning.” He can afford the quip for he writes with a confidence in the style and possibilities of a managing elite which no reader of a study like Daniel Boorstin’s The Image will be able to muster. The scene depicted here reminds one, rather, of the scene in the movie Pimpernel Smith when the Nazi general brags to his foe, an historian and archeologist who had complained about the instant coffee offered him: “In Germany we have discovered that substitutes are better than the real thing.”
Professor Boorstin’s subject is the enormous range of substitutes for the real thing which affect the quality of our everyda...
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