very methods which the courts and thenFederal bureaucracy have used to imposentheir policies. Reeves quotes a formerndeputy to New York’s then-Mayor Kochnas saying that our political problems reallynbegan “when money was tied tonpolicy.” And he is right. The socialnengineers in the Federal bureaucracynhave gone from victory to victory wieldingnthe threat of funding cutoffs. But thisnis a double-edged weapon: young mennwho refuse to meet their responsibilitiesnto their nation by registering for the draftnmay discover they are ineligible for studentnloans and other forms of Federalnfunding. Such a situation may lead tondesirable results: a recovery—even if artificial—ofna sense of patriotic responsibility,nor a restoration of an individual’snThe Sense of PlacenRobert Drake: TJbe Home P/ace; MetaphisnState University Press; Memphis.nTheodore Dreiser: American Diaries,n1902-1926; Edited by Thomas P. Riggio;nUniversity of Pennsylvania Press;nPhiladelphia.nThe Republic of Letters in America:nThe Correspondence of John PealenBishop and Allen Tate; Edited bynThomas Daniel Young and John J.nHindle; University Press of Kentucky;nLexington.nby Curtis StadtfeldnJr ew things are more important to thenemotional well-being of humans thanntheir sense of place, and few subjects arendiscussed so rarely. Perhaps becausenscholarship is normally an urban, if notnalways urbane, occupation; perhapsnbecause the study of psychology grew innurban settings and was conducted byncosmopolitan scholars; perhaps becausenMr. Stadtfeld is the author o/From thenLand and Back.nfinancial independence when he isndeprived of governmental subsidies.nXveeves is not wholly optimistic aboutnthe future of the American polity, especiallynwhen he recalls some of the morenself-centered representatives of thenyounger generation he has met, or somenof the impoverished who still persist innconsiderable numbers here. At one pointnhe talks to prisoners in a penitentiary andnthen decides that the society inside isnrather like the one outside. But thatnrather ideologically determined conclusionnis belied by a telling detail whichnReeves lets slip: of all the people to whomnhe spoke as he retraced Tocqueville’snsteps, not one wished to leave the UnitednStates. Dnit is fashionable to praise cities as places ofnculture and see rural settings as the homenof rubes, the topic has been virtually ignored.nNor do I mean the rural nostalgianthat now and then sweeps across Americanin some kind of “back to the land”nmovement. The image of substancedependentnhippies coping with dry summersnand sleet storms was amusing toncountry folk, just as occasional moves innold Russia by intellectuals trying to saventhe serfs was amusing, and probably irritating,nto the serfs, who wanted mostlynto be left alone by the feckless dandiesnfrom the cities.nBut most of us have some imprintingnfrom early days about a place; if we arenlucky, it is of a happy home or a nice lawnnor yard; of a neighborhood or a town ornsome kind of environment that a childncan identify as happy, a scale of architecturenand conviviality that reassures anchild. If we are less fortunate, it may be anschool playground, or some other placenthat arises a little later as important, butnbegins to be a part of some other, largernworld, and so more shared, less personal.nThe place may be where something verynspecial, very happy, was experienced. Annnlake where we swam in summers, anbeach, a hill where we flew a kite, a boatnthat we sailed before a storm. And ifnnone of these places happens for us, itnmay be a place that happens to us in laternlife that becomes important; an office, anbar, a battlefield. But those who arenplace-less are doomed to the empty livesnwe see in many urban centers today—nyoungsters filled with nothing more thannthe sounds of what they are told is music,ntheir short-term ambition to find electronicnstimulation in games or television,nand the goal of artificial, conscious alterationnseeming like something permanent.nA sense of place is one of the anchorsnthat can hold our lives fast in turbulentntimes, remind us that there arensome things that do not erode withnchange. Even if the place itself falls victimnto the urban renewers’ wreckingntools, or is replaced with a nice profitablenparking lot, the memory of it cto sometimesnhelp. I learned about that sense ofnplace from my father, in whom it was soningrained that he would never havenrecognized the absence of it. He was anfarmer and, until he retired in his sixties,nrarely traveled more than a few milesnfrom the farm where he had been bornnand the adjoining one from which henearned his living. He knew every inch ofnevery foot on a few hundred acres ofnland, and that intimate knowledge wasnhis textbook for life. He revealed this tonme without knowing it one evening. As ancollege student, I had discovered NewnYork City, from Greenwich Village to St.nPatrick’s Cathedral, and once, for a holiday,nI drove my parents there. In thenevening, we were driving on the old NewnJersey turnpike. “What did you think ofnNew York, Dad?” “I don’t think it willnever amount to much.” “Why not?”n”Too far away from everything.”nA few years later, I realized what anwonderfiil thing it was for him to havensuch a sense of place. Each of these booksnis about that sense, in one way ornanother.nX he Home Place is very specificallynabout it, with the author telling us aboutn•33nFebruary 1983n