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New York: George Braziller, 1955.
In this book Santayana offers a general view of American life and culture. He coined the widely used expression "the genteel tradition" as a description of certain inadequacies in American literary culture. It referred to a detachment which he thought American writers had from the real forces at work in American life. For him a country had not acquired a genuine culture until its poetry and philosophy expressed ideals which were the implicit goals of the truly active forces in its social, political and industrial life.

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