Cousins and Strangers, edited by S. Gorley Putt
Every year the Commonwealth Fund, administered by the British but set up by a rich American, sends to this country, for study in their respective fields, twenty university graduates and five civil servants from Great Britain, along with five civil servants from the Dominions, two more from the Colonies, and up to three “editorial journalists.” They submit informal reports, and the present book is made up of excerpts from seventy-odd of these, arranged under headings that go from the very broad to the rather specific (e.g. “Medicine,” “Road Traffic”). A pretty accurate and sympathetic if sketchy view of many aspects of our life is afforded, but hardly anything gets described or explained in a really fresh way. This is not solely because the contributors write for non-Americans. The fact is that the American character, and the American scene, lend themselves to stereotyping, and most of the stereotypes seem to be true. Moreover, it is we Americans who are usually the first to recognize their truth.
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