wished to live “expressively” and theirnidea of “success” differed sharply fromnthat of the prevailing culture. Theynenjoyed drinking, dancing, and romancing,nand their standards in regardnto these activities were considerablynlooser than those of the Victoriansnabove them. They were uninterested,nmoreover, in such niceties as punctualitynand cleanliness.nFor the first time in American —nprobably in world — history, the citiesnwere overrun with young peoplen(roughly half of them refugees fromnthe American hinterland) who hadnneither family nor neighborhood norncommunity in the tradihonal sense,nand therefore no perceived responsibilitynto any but themselves; cut awaynfrom the past and with no feeling fornan improbable future, they rapidlyngrew accustomed to living in and fornthe present. Industrial work, unlikenfarm work, creates a radical distinctionnbetween work and play, and the institutionalizationnof vice (the tenderloin,nthe dance hall, the saloon) proceedednapace. The Victorians, in alarm, reactednby the temperance movement,n”purity reform,” and that fasces ofnsocial and political reform known asn”Progressivism,” attempting to controlnthrough law what they could not influencenby example. But by 1912 thengame was up, and following WorldnWar I the middle class, in Collier’snphrase, “was simply seduced” by essentiallynworking-class and foreignnmoral codes that seemed more relevantnthan Victorianism to a new generationnof Americans. “It was inevitable,” Colliernwrites, “that the city became thenbatdeground where the war againstnVictorianism was fought: for in thenend, the city itself was the enemy. Andnthe victor was the self”nThe 20th century is indeed then”Age of Entertainment” evennmore than it is the age of mass murder,nand Mr. Collier is very good at showingnhow entertainment for the masses hasnbeen both a cause and a result of thencreation of an American proletariat,nbeginning with vaudeville that developednfrom the minstrel and varietynshows after the Civil War and which, bynsuch techniques as concentrated ownershipnand the control of theater chains,nmade straight the way for the movienindustry in the next century. Never, asnJames Collier correctly states, in thenhistory of the wodd have so manynpeople spent so much time being enter-nCHRONICLES GIFT OFFERnGive a one-year subscription tonChronicles for only $24 (you save $6nor 20% off the cover price). Justncomplete and mail the coupon belownwith your check or money order, andnwe’ll promptly send each recipient angift card in your name.n30/CHRONICLESn,Chix)r,ii(1c8.n” ‘•ui!nFOREIGN ORDERS ADD S6 PER SUBSCRIPTION • U.S- FUNDS ONLY • CHRONICLES SELLS FOR S2.50 A COPY.nSEND TO: CHRONICLES • P.O. BOX 800 • MT. MORRIS, IL 61054nnntained as in America from the 1920’snon — a circumstance he claims to bendirectly responsible for the habit ofndetachment that has prevailed in thisncountry for decades and that promisesnto create “a nation of loners” cut offnfrom reality and from one anothernthrough their preoccupation with fantasynand simulacra. Mass entertainmentntoo, in the form of both show businessnand sports, is the creature of the megalopolis,non which it is directly dependentnfor the infrastructure that delivers millionsnof warm bodies and paralyzedncerebra, on demand and on time, tonmovie palaces and sports coliseumsnacross America. Even the popular musicnindustry is a product of the giantnindustrial city where, in the last decadesnof the 19th century and the first ones ofnthe 20th, immigrants and the sons ofnimmigrants — none of whom had evernventured across the Hudson River—nfabricated the national preference for ankind of song never heard in Americanbefore (or anywhere else, for that matter):nmusic that had no roots in Americannfolk ballads and “expressive” lyricsnthat abandoned the notion of song asnnarrative and replaced it by the formulan— standard since then — that is modernnhumanity’s equivalent of a bull elk’snbugle during the rut. (I had not known,nby the way, that Irving Bedin wasncompelled by his weak musicianship tonhire an assistant to help him harmonizenhis songs.) “For most,” Mr. Colliernremarks souriy, “the response to thencatastrophes of the 1930’s was to go tonthe movies.”nJames Collier argues that the culturalndivide across the postwar (Wodd WarnII) years must be located around 1973nrather than in the eady 60’s: “in thenearly 1970’s there was a swing politicallynto the right, the ending of post-warnprosperity, and a dramatic upward surgenin selfishness which very quickly becamenso gross as to effect a qualitativenchange in the nature of American life.”nFrom here to the end of the book it isndownhill all the way, even more for thenauthor than for his unhappy country.nTo this point, we have been reading anwork of history; now we find ourselvesnperusing a New York Times Magazinenarticle. Collier, in his indignation atnRonald Reagan, George Bush, and thenMe Decade, echoes John KennethnGalbraith’s complaint of the 60’s thatn”we” are keeping too much wealth inn