On Becoming American

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by Ted Morgan

Houghton Miffin, $10.95

It is flattering to read about a sophisticated French nobleman who has decided he’d rather be an American. Ted Morgan, a Pulitzcr Prize-winning journalist, was born Sanche de Gramont— le comte Sanche de Gramont. Raised, educated, and employed in both France and America, he decided in his forties that he’d had enough of his native country. The French were smug and rigid, he felt, and so he went through the lengthy business of becoming an American citizen. Scrambling the letters of “de Gramont,” he arrived at Ted Morgan—thoroughly American, comfortably unaristocratic. In this amiable book, he ranges through the American past and present, observing thoughtfully and with crisp affection his adopted land.