Writing this book cannot have been easy. Just piclung it up is not easy. It is a whopping great tome. Yet Richard Gray's real achievement is somehow to have compressed more than 400 years of thrillingly rich literary history between two covers. The multi-authored Cambrid'g, e History of American Literature runs to eight fat volumes. At less than 920 pages, Gray's history is, by comparison, a triumph of brevity.
As one would expect of such a distinguished scholar (Professor of American Literature at Essex University; FBA; author and editor of several important books on Southern literature: editor of the Journal of American Studies), there is a lot to admire between those widely separated covers. Gray's survey is far-ranging, adventurous, and