East Coast/West Coast

Patrick Douglas, Author, Patrick Douglas, Other Dutton Books $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-55611-098-6
In a book that initially succors elitists and causes populists to arm, freelance writer Douglas changes tack after some 325 pages and outrages all camps. New Agers especially will be miffed at his dismissal of channeling and the like as ``mush.'' The author uses the appellations ``elitist'' and ``aristocrat'' as commendable qualities in his tracing of egalitarianism, a negative development, in politics and culture alike: the authority of Boston, for example, with a ``sense of duty to the mind and to the body politic . . . declined with John Quincy Adams's defeat to Andrew Jackson in 1828.'' Democratization heralded cultural deterioration, the shift of influence from East Coast to West Coast brought an end to rationalism as the well-born, well-bred--``good stock''--were overshadowed first by the uneducated rich, then by the ``average man.'' Focusing too broadly to develop his provocative thesis, Douglas concludes with an excursion into the paranormal, which, despite his enthusiasm, smacks here of a parlor game. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/01/1989
Release date: 11/01/1989
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