Reading, Writing, And History


And all of them were ancestors—of middle Americans, of suburbanites, of hardhatsand of hippies. They contributed their children to the making of the nation—along with their muscle, their ambition, their skills, their cultural gifts. Every reader of these books must make his own comparisons with the present. And every American should read these books, and others like them. We are only now realizing that mass migration, like the frontier, was one of the forces making America American; that we will understand ourselves and our conflicts and our achievements better if we know that “out of many one,” e pluribus unum , is not just a phrase on a coin, but a precise description of the social essence of the United States.